2018: Another Year, A Letter

Dear You,

Welp, it’s that annual sappy post about New Year’s! Except I’m a week late. 😛

While this post coincides with my 21st birthday, I often double up stuff like this all the time. So I guess it’s not completely out of occasion.

To begin, I guess nothing feels out of the ordinary. Just like how I feel about birthdays, it was just another day. Although we did promote four officers for the new year: Valynda, Dolgon, Allibi (finally!), and Viestra. So that’s a new beginning! I feel that we haven’t promoted many officers over the year – partly because I sort of feel alone in leading the guild.

In terms of real life though, I think the biggest resolution is to expand my interest in motion graphics. I want to learn more, create more. It’s not something that I’m like strikingly good at, but it obviously takes a lot of practice. Just like the amount of effort I put into DDO, sigh, lol.

But for the game, I want to continue the work I’ve been doing. Reaching out to people, expanding the channel, expanding the guild, and focusing on hosting more events, raids, meetings, and more. As much as I want to keep it up though, I feel that it’s going to be strenuous. I don’t know if that’s good for me as it clashes with my real life resolution.

Keep in mind these aren’t real resolutions – in fact, I have a vague idea as to what I want to better myself in, but I never solidified these wishes. I think that’s what I’m doing now.

Well, in any case, I’m always sensitive to the feeling of starting anew, or ending something. Today (or rather yesterday, my schedule is so messed up) was my birthday, and I was so astonished by how many people showered me with warm wishes. I didn’t even tell anyone, but by word of mouth by those who remembered, the entire day I had friends wishing me a happy birthday. It was great, and kind of a first in a long time! Because I’m so apathetic to birthdays, these pleasant surprises remind me of the ultimate blessing I have: loved ones around me. While my day was just a normal day, somehow it felt more special by these simple things. Perhaps not having such expectations is part of that though. 🙂

2018 and 2019 I foresee a lot less DDO. That’s when I’ll be the most busy with coursework. But I’ll probably somehow find a loophole around that, I almost always do! I’ve probably said Happy New Year over a thousand times at my job and to friends, and I hope mine will be at least unchanging. But that’s kind of a bad thing to wish for when New Year’s is all about change, lol.

In any case, I hope the guild feels that they are under good hands. I hope my friends strive for better things in life. And I dearly hope I can grow in every aspect, from real life to DDO. I’m 21, but I’m still a baby really!

I think above all, I want to make more artworks and stick with it. Even if it doesn’t further my particular career, it’s something I’ve finally been able to grasp onto, so I don’t want to let go.

When my guildie linked a horoscope to my birthday, I thought it was interesting and fun to read. Was quite funny in how accurate it was, despite horoscopes generally not matching up. But I guess this year there was some common ground.

Today, I was in a particularly good mood because it felt like I was free. I didn’t feel obligated to help, even though I still couldn’t help myself. Sometimes I wish my birthday was every day in that sense! But, that would be selfish wouldn’t it?

I felt like I mattered, that I was important because I’ve tried to not think about myself in a greater light than anyone else. I don’t really have a focus on the need to feel important because it’s something that just simply didn’t have it’s place in it for me, but I can see why some emphasize it sometimes. While part of me prefers solitude, the other part is the outgoing side of me that cherishes people and just wants to be liked, loved. I saw so many people who normally don’t play anymore log in, and while some were coincidence, I think that was one of the greatest gifts.

Everyone will have a special place in my heart, and while that will be hard trying to fit each and everyone… you have made it all the more worthwhile to always keep trying no matter what.


A tired Sera writing, once again, at 7AM after a long gaming session.

How I feel as (Interim) Guild Leader

So for those who aren’t in BBA or know about it, our guild leader is delinquent. Today afternoon will be the time when the usurp function becomes active.

To be honest I’m not sure how I feel about it. On one hand I’m almost relieved because then I can perform guild leader duties that she has been neglecting for the past two months (and frankly, longer than that). I won’t have to constantly be sending in update reports to do this or that. I’ve always hated nagging people to do things (who doesn’t like that??) and preferred to just do things on my own. This will give me a chance to properly promote officer alts (main reason) and clean up the roster that way (no, I won’t be booting or anything like that).

On the other hand, I have my own conflicting feelings about this, as well as everyone else’s feelings. We all don’t like the fact that it had to come down to this. Joli probably did not really perform the duties of a typical guild leader, but she is a great player and a friend we all enjoy hanging with. Despite the deal we made when we convinced her to join, it seems that she too, perhaps, has moved on.

Nothing wrong with being really busy with real life or moving on, of course. But it worries us when the last we actually heard from her was 2 months ago and there has been no word or contact – not even on the guild website. We are all dearly hoping that nothing serious has happened to her. This is kind of the similar case with the SD guild recently, and Ang’s taken charge of leadership there. Almost scary on the timing.

However, I plan to just crown her successor. I think the others from Beholder_Chatz made a good point that if I were to name someone else as successor, it would only cause problems and misunderstandings. Until I can contact her within the next few months to a year or so, I will wait for her. Then, we can discuss the future of the guild and how to move on from there if she plans to quit or severely limit her play time.

As much as I want to talk about what happens if she doesn’t come back for good or what to do next, or what if this, what if that – it is probably a sign that I can be controlling. I hate to do things without a plan, but I also don’t want to overexert power to control everything. That is the last thing this guild should be about – the whole reason we formed this guild. Organization and teamwork is key.

But, since this is a personal semi-private blog… let’s dissect those ideas. I’ve been doing lots of thinking ever since two weeks ago when the message first appeared about Joli’s delinquency – even before then, when her inactivity stretched over a month. It was so unlike her to be missing that long – she was one of the regular players, after all, and to suddenly fall out like that. No doubt it caused a lot of worry for the others. There were already so many players who were either on and off activity or just left the game for good. Now that I speak of it, it is kind of sad that there is so much focus on Joli compared to the others who left or are inactive. Maybe it is because she holds the crown, most likely it is because of her actual presence as a player and friend. But if it is the first, it makes me sad almost because some great friends and players have left the game.

Barakias, for one. He was a Spanish player I believe – great person, father, player. But because of real life, he left the game. I remember I was the only person online in the late (early?) hours of dawn. He had logged in that night to say goodbye to whoever was on, and I just happened to be online then. He hadn’t planned to wait for anyone it seemed, and that he would just slip away quietly. Had I not been online, perhaps no one would have known. After he had deleted his entire account, I was left in the quietness and somber of the rising dawn. Even now, I still really miss him. All of the people who left, whether physically from the game or by long term inactivity – I remember them and I feel for them. I miss them.

But I can’t forget the people I have now. The current guild, which is always still growing. The folks from Beholder_Chatz. Even the strangers around me – just being in company (or at least perceived company) of others is comforting when I think of the sad memories of people leaving. I think that a lot of people who dwell a lot in the past can’t seem to remember that there is still a path ahead. For me, there are always things to do, achievements to take hold of, and on a more deeper note, people to meet. I’m not the most extroverted gal out there – but quietly, I like to learn more about people.

This is all the more reason why I’m determined to take on the role of guild leader (even if it is just an interim position) and the reason why, if it comes down to it, I am prepared to fully usurp. I hope Joli, in the end, will understand my intentions and feelings. I (and many of the other officers) am constantly worried that she might get the wrong idea and react badly. At the same time, knowing Joli all these years, I am also of the mind that she will understand completely from a reasonable point of view, keeping the guild in mind first as opposed to just her own. That was the entire reason why we reformed and came together as the founders. So while I understand the others’ worries, I think that we should have more faith in our guild leader than to think of her as some tyrant who must have the crown at all times, regardless of the situation. That in itself would disqualify her as the leader anyway, simply based on our guild identity and philosophy in togetherness.

When the game gets back up, I will have a lot of work to do. Transitioning into guild leader does not necessarily mean more responsibilities for me particularly as I have been performing them in her place since, pretty much, Day 1. After all, the guild was once my own. The only thing differently I will be responsible for is the ability to promote, which I have been eagerly wanting to finally clean up. The inconsistency of officer alts who are not promoted yet just totally drives me insane. We also have some officer nominations, so I think it would be great to have more officers on board. I may have to reiterate officer promotion guidelines and maybe even add/clean them up together with the other officers.

It would also be nice to hold weekly guild meetings. This would give us a greater sense of togetherness and responsibilities as ranked members of the guild.

I need to be careful not to overwork the others or myself for the sake of that cause though. Too much activity and organization means less play time, which is what we are all here for. Generally, for the most part, we are good about the latter since we tend to have half organized half nonchalant attitudes (not sure how else to describe it but it is a good, healthy combination in my opinion). But I sincerely do hope to change things around the guild, as we have already begun shifting our ideas around as new guildies join and more people contribute. That alone makes me proud as current (as of this writing) guild successor.

My vision for the guild is nothing more maintaining current guild functions and operations – the one main thing I plan on exercising is officer promotion, as of this time period. Perhaps as a guild we may begin to shift our gears into doing other things, I don’t know. Officer promotion is vital to a guild’s growth in that they are the ones who ultimately decide to invite potential recruits. They are the ones who maintain guild functions, such as event organization and ship buff restocks. I owe everything to our current team of officers who have worked to help maintain and build the guild to what it is today. And it is the officers who provide the precious input as the voices and representatives of the guild in final decisions. Any leader who fails to acknowledge officers fails to acknowledge the health of the guild. I don’t mean that in an offensive way – it is the truth that I have arrived after being a long term ranked member of a total of three guilds in my 5 years of gaming time on DDO. And there is nothing against Joli in that statement – in the time she has been around, she has always sought officers for their input. Never once did she try to take matters into her own hands that would affect the guild as a whole dramatically. That is how we founded this guild with that philosophy in mind – I remember she called the government system somewhat that of a benevolent, representative oligarchy (or something?).

In any case, for all we know, she may be back after downtime. She may be back tomorrow. Or perhaps she might not return at all – maybe she gets married and has like 5 children to take care of. The one thing I do know is that no matter what, I will be here today, tomorrow, and many days after those to take care of Best Beaches Around.

PS: Once I have successfully retrieved crown as interim guild leader, I will be releasing an official statement on the Guild News tab of the guild website for further information, as well as a statement to Joli specifically in case of any misunderstandings (so as to address that).

First 2016 Post…

Can’t believe I didn’t have a New Year’s Resolution post or anything like that to kick off 2016, but here it is! Then again, not really a New Year’s kinda person, although I did accomplish something… my goal to stop hoarding in game, LOL. It’s finally coming around, but let me tell you… it was so gawsh dang hard!! xD 2 days after my birthday, I decided to hold a “Garage Giveaway” event for guildies and friends on open invite, and it took a total of maybe 2-3 hours? It ended up being more of an “everyone’s giveaway” as we had people offering up stuff too – it was very hectic, but fun!! And super kind of others to offer things up too, takes a bit to give away antiques and items near and dear to our hearts.

Well, I finally cleared up ONE bank toon for rerolling. The much despised (sorry haha) Velvettarte will be rerolled, but I’m a bit wishy washy in what she will end up as. I’m kind of locked into a point where she has to be an Elf Paladin (I hate having double races among the new toons, so for consistency and flavor’s sake…) but that doesn’t exactly sound viable or at least optimal for a tank build; I was wanting to create a Paladin tank for raiding if we ever needed one. But now, I’m kind of rethinking this after last night – if I’m able to turn Sylvette into a quasi-tank two handed fighting Warpriest… then maybe I have room to create Velvettarte into something else.

So some of the options… perhaps a two weapon fighting Elven Paladin (pure), or an Elven Sorcerer build – although that doesn’t really work out that well, since I was thinking at the very least, having a Displacement Dragonmark clickie would be something for a melee type character (unlike an arcane who can cast the spell). There is always the reason for nothing but pure flavor, but I like to have some utility…

Or perhaps I could make use of the Elven Arcane Archer tree and choose a unique class blend, maybe that pure Spellsinger AA build I’ve always wanted to try. Or a Favored Soul Arcane Archer build, ooh! So many choices, le sigh.

Either ways, at least I know which options to rule out: Celesteine will be the Sun Elf Cleric, Ashimerelle the Halfling Ranger, and Rinnybon the Half-Elf Warlock (all pure). All I know is that Velvettarte will be Elven something, haha!

There is one thing I’ve also been tossing and turning about: their last names. It seems I only have Rinnybon’s and maybe Velvettarte’s surnames down (and Velvettarte will be renamed to Velvenillah), but the other two I’m still stuck about what theme I have in mind for them. Ashimerelle could keep her surname (Amberstorm) but I feel like there might be something cooler out there. Celesteine’s surname was the one I fretted about for who knows how long: Glitterglow? Cloudheart? Somehow it doesn’t sound right.

There is also the opposition theme I have in mind for Celesteine the Sun Elf and Velvettarte the “Vanilla” Elf – probably making Velv’s appearance in mind of a Moon Elf to reciprocate the theme I have for Celesteine, but that would mean I have to make Celesteine’s surname stronger, something with fire, sun, and the like.

All in all, at least this post kind of directs the route I want to take with these bank toons. I still have an extra slot to create, and I have no idea what I will do with that! This is kind of just me blabbing, but sometime I’ll have to sit myself down and figure it all out! Of course, given how long it took just to clean out one bank toon for rerolling, I have a feeling this can’t be done in one go. But at the very least, I can do this while DDO is on downtime. LOL.


Guild Parties and Fun!

Aaahh, just when we think we’re done and worn out from the guild’s first Trivia Event… looks like we’re on a partying streak!

The day after the guild trivia event, we got together for a “Taken Hunt” for chasing players around Harbor as Takens. It was hilarious to see people freak out! I was especially glad to hear one guildy say that it was liberating and that if he knew our guild does Taken fests, that he would have joined a long time ago, LOL! Stuff like these just take our focus away from the game in terms of character progression, and just get together for some good fun!

This next event was more of a small friend gathering on an early morning (talkin’ 4AM or so) where Second, Glit, Leela, and I had some fun just hanging around and chatting, with Teacher Second teaching us how to say certain phrases in Greek! I learned that “I love you” in Greek is “Se agapo” which makes sense to me – “se” being somewhat similar to the usage of “te/se (you, she/he)” in Spanish (oops… 3 years of Spanish surfacing here) and “agapo” deriving from Greek word “agape,” which is familiar to me since I am a Christian, and that term is often used to describe Jesus’ love (agape meaning the highest form of love, or the love of God for man and vice versa). 😀 We laughed so hard when Leela tried to pronounce that and to me, I heard “Sera poo.” Ahahaha! The toilet humor never ends.
Second wanted to take some screenshots for fun memories, and the inner photographer in me decided I wanted to as well. Even though it was just us, these memories I certainly do cherish!

Will the fun and parties never end!? I’m sure there will be LOTS more considering how many birthdays are in January alone – our guild are winter/New Year month babies! Today (since it’s technically the 31st) is Linkinhood’s birthday, so we got together impromptu for a dance rave on the top deck – we just mainly talked and laughed! While I felt we should have planned something bigger, Link seemed pretty happy about it! I was laughing so hard over the things we talked about that I cannot remember now, but Hokage did record the entire thing via Twitch livestream… click here for the link!! 😀 I’m laughing so hard, I wonder how long it will stay posted… LOVE YOU LEELA! 😀 😀 😀

BBA Hosts: Christmas Guild Trivia!

On Christmas Eve of 2015, Best Beaches Around hosted their first public trivia event! While it consisted of mostly friends and family (guild), we did have quite a few guests on board! The event was held on our airship (top deck), and surprisingly, it got pretty laggy with all these people!! It wasn’t really that much too, so I was kind of taken aback by how quickly it lags out with that amount of people.


Official Guild Photo: Before the Kickoff to the Trivia!


I was sad a few of my favorite people couldn’t attend, but then again, poor management/planning lead to having the event right on Christmas Eve, which is proooobably not the best time to hold events. Nonetheless, we had a great time, festive chatter, and two new recruits! Overall, I was very pleased in how this turned out, although my sister was the one who initially organized this all.

So here are the juicy details of what happened: we had a lot of laughter and chatter at the beginning where it was a raid group of us (me, Leela, Chrys, and a few other groupies) as we rushed our final preparations into the start of the event. I was so bogged down with finishing up the questions (at the last minute of course!) that Leela had to go around advertising in popular town areas such as Eveningstar and Harbor. I wonder if that worked, but we did get a lot of hits on the LFM at least! Next time we’ll definitely be prepared!

After we had a good laugh and talked amongst ourselves, we got down to business although we were already running about 10-15 minutes late (around 10:15PM was when we actually started). Chrys was having a bit of trouble starting us off, and we ended up having me as the speaking host for all three rounds while Chrys and Leela were double scorekeepers. I have to say, while it was extremely hectic for me, it was also a LOT of fun. At one point, I messed up a question during the DDO-Winter themed round by pasting the answer along with the question, so I had to make up a question on the fly. I also was kind of unsure how the DnD round went, since Link made most of those questions and he wasn’t there to back me up. *cry* Another thing I totally am embarrassed about was that one question about the default LFM level range, and I rewarded points for the incorrect answer, which was 4, when in reality it was actually 5. Of course, everyone else must have miscounted because Andy pointed this out to me during the rounds, but didn’t argue further. Only did I realize this after the event when he explained it further for me and when I actually did count. Rawrgh!! Tricky LFM panels.

As for the prizes, that definitely will need better planning. While we settled it with a “roll off” between contestants of each round as for the order of who goes to pick first, it took so long that people who stuck around left, and we had door prizes ready! 😦 In the end I had to mail people stuff, although I think just getting together and heating up our competitive spirit in good fun was good enough. 🙂

Overall, I had a blast! People tried to show up, and we actually gained two new recruits: Natsuri and Adonfire from New Order! I was pleased how it turned out, and glad other people enjoyed it. Perhaps I did hope for more participation, but hey, fast fingers dominate quickly. I loved this event, and have to give kudos to my sister for thinking it up and starting it all. This is definitely something I feel our guild could do again, maybe not the exact same event, but having this mutual feeling of connection and bonding (cheesy mode engaged!) between not just our guildies, but friends and others as well. I wish I could remember every bit of what happened that day, but I guess this is what happens when you’re too sleepy to do anything else! I look forward to future events like these within our guild, and not private events but open to everyone, welcoming people into our circle warmly.

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