My Personal 2020 Updated TR Checklist

Objectives:

☐ Pick up any Saga rewards:

  • Heroic / Racial TR:
    • 3BC / Sentinels
    • Ravenloft
    • Gianthold
    • Sharn City + Sharn Cogs
  • Iconic TR:
    • (Heroic) Gianthold
    • (Epic) MotU (4)
    • (Epic) Ravenloft
    • (Epic) Sharn City + Sharn Cogs
    • (Epic) 3BC / Sentinels*
    • (Epic) Gianthold*

*Unlikely to run.

☐ Turn in favor achievements and rewards (not all required):

  • Twelve favor for ingredient bags
  • Harper favor for Greater Harper Pin
  • Yugoloth favor for Yugoloth potions
  • Agents of Argonnesson favor for Gianthold reward (Flawless Siberys Dragonshard or Portable Hole)
  • Cannith favor for crafting items
  • Silver Flame favor for SF potions and Blessing of the Silver Flame token
  • Purple Dragon Knights favor for upgrading Caught in the Web raid weapons
  • Total Favor tome reward from Nyx (+2 tome of choice) to convert into 9 Purified Eberron Dragonshard Fragments

☐ Run the first four quests of Korthos for cheap (5 TP exchange) Siberys Cake.

☐ Max out on inventory and bank slots (5 inventory slots, 3 bank slots, minimum): House Kundarak favor (150) for 2 more bank slots, Coin Lords favor (75/150) and a Portable Hole required to grant access to 4th and 5th inventory slots, respectively.

☐ Sell unnecessary items such as spell components. Destroy all Iconic gear, if any.

☐ Purchase expensive items while the character has a good haggle at cap such as Raise Dead and Resurrection scrolls.

☐ If close to next 100th favor point reward, run some quests for favor to reach next favor reward.

☐ Pick up any 20th raid rewards as well as any raid/quest completion.

☐ Swap to two weapons to grant 1 more inventory spot for maximum usage.

☐ If TR’ing on a Druid or Artificer life that has items in pet’s gear slots, remove them.

☐ Place hold consumables such as potions, scrolls, cookies, and more in the guild chests. If space is needed, toss out expendable items to repurchase in the next life.

☐ Pick up a free Ravenloft heroic / epic Morninglord weapon and a Sentient Jewel to feed per life.

☐ Remember to quit the client and reincarnate upon startup.


Optionals:

☐ Repair Sigil of the Dal-Quor if flagged/possible.

☐ If not on final life, and close to 5000 favor reward, go for it. If at XX50 or higher favor, go for the nearest 100th to pick up last bit of favor for DDO points.

☐ If wanting to test a feat, use the free feat exchange per life opportunity.

The Eraser

Letting go is a form of catharsis I have a hard time with. It’s contradictory: it’s freeing, and then hollow at the same time. The sorrow of losing sometimes is heavier on some days, but I put trust and faith into my steps and walk towards tomorrow.

It teaches me to cherish something or someone while they are still there. To know that nothing lasts forever, or at least most things, and that the beauty of the human heart is ever so fleeting. It is like listening to a song filled with emotions: its riveting, broken chords woven into a comprehensible and beautiful melody. The little moments that build the full composition that is art. To be appreciated whether by note or holistically. The piece doesn’t last long, and a part of me may wonder if it is worth searching for the name of the song, and its soul. Instead, some are left to be only enjoyed in that moment, and while I desperately want to know, the greater part of me lays still, alone on my bed, with my back turned against it. As thoughts pervade my mind and heart, my better judgement roots me there, and all I can do is appreciate it. Able and unable to move.

So I let go, of all convictions that would otherwise motivate me to seek it out, and I simply enjoy the time I have left. The final broken chord represents the dissipating emotions, and there I lay in a forgetful shroud that blankets me and consumes these memories. I don’t remember many of these songs, and while they don’t resound so clearly and beautifully anymore, the pain of forgetting is always softened by time, ironically. The Eraser of Memories itself.

Inspired by Moon Arpeggio.

A Womban

A womban is someone who gives birth to the future generations: a vessel of life, her womb stretches and contracts like a silk cocoon.

Her value determined by the House – cooking in it, cleaning it, caring for it, birthing it.

She is borne to scrutiny of other womben. Man may dictate and oppress, but nothing survives under the familiar eyes who watch her. She must hold hands with the same whimmen who pierce her palms with an embedded needle, clasping ever so tightly.

The womban, already assigned a worth from the moment she is born, until she rends her abdomen, is no longer useful.

When other womben complain of wombaches, when their House wriggles and prepares for the next guest, another womban is ransacked, stripped of her clothes, her belongings, left on the streets to rot, and many womben pass her by.

They scorn her, with those familiar eyes.

So she knocks on her House. She politely excuses herself for her disturbance. She hesitates knocking twice. But there is no fear when she tells it through the broken glass:

“We’ve been through a lot, but you can’t live here anymore. When I lose you, I’ll lose a part of myself. I’ll lose a part of my identity. I’ll lose the respect of other womben in this world. But if I lose the rest of myself, then my worth means nothing. Take it, and I will find my own.”

And so she leaves, her House barren, her worth the lowest of the low, but she does not look back.

Let Me Sleep, Just a Little More.

I didn’t remember when I first woke up, but I wanted to fall back into sleep.

Away from what I call reality, I think that’s why I rest.

Why I love art and music, and DDO to transport me away from the game of Life.

Writing in nature even, surrounded by the buzz of people, birds, squirrels, the clattering of skateboards, the eyes that ever so watch me when I shut mine.

All encased within my shell, the ‘Buds that resound melodies.

I’m listening to music that carries a beat but somehow I can’t stop but think about my sister.

2 months.

Mama talks as usual on the ride to school. And she reminded me why I didn’t want to wake up in the first place.

I wanted to save her so badly. I dreamt that I was the one performing surgery. And despite the lack of memory over the surgical details, this was all that I could gather:

I thought of it like a plastic bag, then I realized a budding sprout was more appropriate. Snip the two pronged stems that support the fresh leaves, and then the supporting stem just above the root. I took it out myself, and while it was the only way, I also felt like I killed myself.

I was her, and not her, the surgeon but not the surgeon, in and out of bodily form.

This is what I dreamt. An ever so fleeting memory, or distant premonition, or imagination brought to life.

I told her today, after writing the above yesterday. She just hrmmed and listened, while I just described it as normally as I could. I mean, it wasn’t that serious. But my brain processes intense emotions into dreams, movies for me to enjoy. This one is the birth of grief, I believe.

I keep this blog sort of out of reach from my family. I’d feel awkward for them to read my innermost thoughts when strangers across the internet have access to them. Let it be. I don’t get how I tick sometimes, but those who may be the most closest to me don’t even know all of me. Just as I hide parts of who I am from others.

In a sense, I’ve never felt a true and deep connection with anyone except God who knows all of what I am. This distance, is not exempt from family relations. It’s rather – sad.

I was showed a new perspective today, I believe. Junie B. Jones. Remember it. Because finding out about my childhood’s love of reading – brought me to know – that somehow, get this, learning about the author’s death in 2013 opened my eyes on what was really important. Her life. Leave the rest behind, because whatever happens there is nothing worse than life robbed from my very comfortable world, the place of minimal fear and hurt that I grew up in, all made possible by her.

She is like my second mother, and father, so to speak. I was reminded of this fact today, and it deeply moved me. So I write, to not forget, because this chaotic mind of mine will lose these very raw emotions and thoughts in the turbulence of night.

A Stirring From Within

Raw honesty pours forth emotions, which can be later read for greater insight and deeper reflection. Do not be afraid and withhold them from your own diary, which is meant to be a garden of the mind.

This is more of an update post about my thoughts and feelings as of lately. I figured after the previous post’s wondrous change of heart, mind, attitude, whatever it is that moved me to start seeing life differently – that I should follow up on that. Of course, I always write with the most passion at the wee hours of early “night” (it is 2:33AM as of this writing).

Lately, I realized I am much less irritable in real life. While I still retain most of my introverted ways, something seems to have changed. The other day last week, I spent the day with my younger sister just to go eat out at one of our competitor’s bakery. DDO never quite leaves my mind, but at the time I actually felt happy spending time with my family and friends. I didn’t feel stressed or agitated. Because of my dedication and investment into DDO, every second mattered to me that I wasn’t spending into the game. Now, something has changed.

The day we spent just eating and conversing at the bakery was rather a plain, simple day. I would probably not describe it as my go to activity or that it is fun to me naturally, but experiencing the day myself was not so bad. We simply talked about the quality of the breads, random chatter, and work stuff. When I got home, I felt unusually refreshed, but only slightly before I hopped back onto DDO.

I must confess, that deep down DDO is my passion and my poison. Perhaps it is the natural addictive quality of games itself or that I naturally have specialized and often obsessive interests, but while I am immensely passionate and enthusiastic in my own quiet and preferred solitude of the game, a part of me cannot help but feel damaged as well. And this is what I refer to as an unbreakable cycle because I am trying to escape, but am unable to bring myself to take the first step. As expected from my idle nature, I don’t want to move, I just want to continue to sleep forever and relish this sweet, deceptive dream of what is truly an alternate reality – a double, more ideal life.

Perhaps this is partly why I struggle with self identity. Well, to say struggle is not even accurate however – what really is the root of it all is the fact that nothing but apathy remains in this soft shell. It is my senses dulled to every other point besides DDO. Quite a few friends, particularly guildies of mine, have basically reached this point of greater actualization of their own desires in life. By that, I mean that they are doing well in real life or are busy with the things that do matter rather than devoting half their life to a game (like I have, continually doing so). And this is kind of the tricky question for me: do I oversimplify this issue by triumphing real life over my in game life? While this seems like a rhetorical question with a no-brainer answer, it is a hard question for me to answer because of my undying love for the game, the community, the experiences that DDO has provided me in the 6+ years I’ve been playing. And what is one of the root causes that begins this uncertain stirring within me? My future career and life ahead of myself. The fact that there is no stability in my personal life is but a stark contrast to the in game “life.” In a way, when Avia once told me about the kind of double life she leads in real life versus game, I understood precisely what she was talking about because that is how I would describe these strange feelings rising within me, and my situation overall.

This is the first time I am writing to address that this is a problem. I can say that I know it all along but when I actually address it as such, it kind of puts things in a different tone and perspective. Out of the 6 years, I have felt this way for maybe the past 3-4 years. And even now I cannot bring myself to say it. God knows, because I have been praying about this for years. But it is Him that I have hurt, and in turn have hurt myself out of selfishness and stubbornness. Almost ever since I seriously began to play DDO more than just a hobby, my relationship with God, my family, and friends (even potential friends whom I have lost the opportunity to bond with) have been dismissed or strained. Not so strained to the point that I feel that all is lost or that tensions are high, but it is enough to make me stop and think, “What am I doing?”

I wonder if this truly is a turning point for me. Am I just saying it because I want it to be? I’m not sure. I certainly do feel a tugging desire to continue to play DDO. Not once, ever have I ever abandoned DDO for another game or hobby. But it is precisely that that I feel I have lost so many opportunities, and ultimately, have idolized the game to be my new god. I know this is getting religious and personal, but as much as I hate to admit it, I’ve known this truth for the longest time, something that I have been carrying and arguably still do carry today. Just knowing something wrong, however, doesn’t make it right; in fact, it is even more wrong that nothing has been done. Well, I suppose “nothing” is too absolute of a term in my case, but it is not the desired result that I seek.

I have always been an avid lover of games and art. It is not that DDO is the perfect game that I suddenly fell mad in love with, with no other interests – as if I were a DDO savant. Rather, I feel that I could have expanded my horizons over the years to more than just a few games that I had obsessions over. This was something DDO also taught me internally, through my latest TR project that I should at least try other things. Somehow, I could apply the principle in game but not in real life, ironically. Yet again, with the push comes the pull: I feel that this need to “expand my horizons” is just a facade in order to advance my career – that I should do it because I have to or else. People around me constantly tell me that. Can I not just be happy now? It’s a complex question with multiple answers, or even the lack thereof.

All of this combined is why I feel quite stirred as of lately, with no other better way to describe it. My renewed motivation to do art again was the ignition to a phoenix of passion, that rises to deeper contemplation. I think these small steps I am finally taking have uplifted my outlook in life. I’m wanting to go outside more, even if it’s only by slightly, and I’m not agitated if I haven’t even logged in for one, two, three days. I started working a lot more on this blog, which has been almost a symbol of my apathy; typically the average post is once per month.

I am not sure where I am exactly going with this now. I’m falling asleep a little, too. Even though a huge, greater part of me certainly doesn’t want to just drop or let go of DDO (in even the slightest), this is also how I feel deep down. It is very contradictory and confusing, which is why I also feel unsettled and have been for years. I don’t even want to mention it and never have all these years until now. For God knows whatever reason.

On the bright side, all these thoughts and feelings have culminated at least a few ideas for blog posts. As I wrap this post up at 3:43AM, I’ll have something to look back on and come to terms with some of these feelings or make some sense into my life as I think deeper. My mind is truly a place where I feel safe and free, which is both good and bad. But thinking helps me understand myself better, hence the importance of maintaining a blog like this. Beyond a recreational surface level of writing in a blog website, it’s grown to mean more than that for me. Sometimes, knowing that some people do read what I write I cannot help but feel a little embarrassed and not totally open because of that. But when I personally read back on these — I think I understand myself a little better.

🙂