Monday, 21 March 2016

PvPing with Traitine and Shintar: my first stream appearance

This is my baby sage, togruta Ashrava. When Traitine of Constant Warfare invited her to join him and Shintar for some PvP on his stream, I thought about it for a while before I agreed. I said yes because I had seen his previous PvP stream and it seemed like fun, but also because I love trying new things, even when I'm terrified of doing them. I should probably elucidate a bit on the latter.

There's a reason I express my gaming fandom in blog form rather than on stream or podcast. When I'm writing, I have the time to weigh my words, to formulate (somewhat) coherent sentences before they venture out in the world. Thing is, I'm not good with words when talking, especially in English. It's not my mother language and I often find myself stumbling on voice chat. It has gotten better over the years - in no small part due to gaming - but it still happens, especially with people I don't know well. On top of that, I hate my Dutch accent. So the prospect of joining a stream was definitely on the list of things that fill me with terror.

Fear is there to be faced, though, so yesterday afternoon I logged in to join what turned out to be a two-and-a-half-hour PvP session!

A typical scoreboard of the evening

Were we good? Well, yes and no. We weren't making efforts to focus fire, more just messing around. Then again, if we would have, the baby PvP matches would've been even more of a stomp fest. Shintar was doing amazing healing, Traitine was quickly getting the hang of his new vanguard (which he rolled especially to play with us on the Red Eclipse - how cool is that?) and I seemed to be making it quickly up to the enemy's KoS list (sage spotted - tunnel mode engaged!). We only lost two matches that afternoon.

It was fun and I think I didn't make a complete fool of myself. I did notice afterwards that making conversation with people I had just met for two and a half hours is quite exhausting: I'm simply not the type that chats away with everyone, and I have less energy than the average person to begin with. When Marinka asked to play some ARK Survival afterwards, I almost declined because I was getting a headache from voice chat.

So, to summon: was it scary? Yes, but also a lot of fun. Would I do it again? Probably, if I have the luxury of recovery time afterwards. I expect a second time to be less stressful. Either way, I'm happy to cross this one off my bucket list. I also want to ask Shintar for some warzones when she's around because it was awesome to play with her: we have been following each other's blogs since 2012 and are on the same server, yet never played together - isn't that just silly?

To my fellow bloggers: did you ever stream or guest in a stream? Did you like it?

If you're curious about our evening, you can watch the stream below. Enjoy!

Alternatively , here's a YouTube video with the highlights of the stream:


  1. I prefer text chat and blogging for the pretty much the same reasons. Plus a few more reasons:

    1) I am a huge introvert. The kind that will stay quiet for long periods of time, not because the company bothers me, just because I don't have anything to talk about and the silence doesn't really bother me.

    2) My english may be good at reading and writing but when it comes to speaking and hearing, not so much. This is doubly so if the other person is using a cheap microphone (as the huge majority of people who play games are) so I can't always guarantee I will always understand everything. I also hate to ask for people to repeat themselves. Some times I will even just pretend I understood something and just agree with it! As for speaking, well, electronic devices always seemed to distort horribly my voice. I also have trouble with pronounce in any language, including my own, a foreign language multiplies the problem by 10 times. On the other hand at least with a foreign language I can play the card of dumb dirty foreigner, so I guess it is a wash. :p

    3) I do have a bit of social phobia. And voice chat is one of those situations where I feel exposed and anxious.

    4) Lastly but not least important, as a introvert, text just feel more natural, easier for me to be myself than speaking. I feel what I write is what shows the "real me". While I speak is usually just whatever comes out of my mouth, usually without passing through my brain first. :p

    I do admit though I do have a bit of jealousy of people who do streams and videos. Also, I will probably have to face my fears soon enough as I am obsessed with Tabletop Simulator. It just seems to be more fun to play with voice chat than text. It will depend though if I can convince my friends to give it a try though!

    Oh, by the way, your dutch accent sounds fine to me. :p

    P.S.: And I just realized this is another blog-sized comment. *sigh* Mind if I post this to my blog with some edits?

    1. I recognize a lot of what you write in my younger self. It makes me realize how much gaming has changed me. For the better, though, I hope.

      When I was new to MMOs, joining people on voice chat was very scary. I started playing LOTRO all by myself and didn't know anyone else who played. It didn't help that I was a girl. Back in 2007 that was still regarded as somewhat of a speciality (luckily this is really not the case anymore in the games I play) - although I can only remember one case where I encountered a level of discrimination. Could've been a lot worse!

      We fast forward a few years. I'm an officer in a small social kinship. Voice chat makes doing group instances a lot easier (not to say a lot more successful in half the playtime) and being one of the few people with some tactical insight, I force myself to lead groups on voice chat. I always feel uncomfortable when doing it, but at least we get stuff done.

      Again a few years later. The social kinship has become inactive due to people leaving for other games, or giving up on gaming entirely. I have joined a kinship that does raids and voice chat is the default. I'm mostly quiet and listen when the raid leader explains stuff. I will only say something when asked something (usually along the lines of: Rav, can you CC this and that mob?). Sometimes I will propose a tactic that has to do with my class' capabilities.

      Now I play SWTOR and my guildies will probably tell you I'm quite chatty on voice chat when asked. I feel comfortable doing so, too. In retrospect, I think two things have contributed to that:
      1) I'm a better gamer. A lot of my shyness was due to insecurity. I was afraid of messing up, causing us to wipe, saying something stupid and getting laughed at. By now I've played with others so much, both failed and succeeded challenges, that I've come to assess my own play compared to others. I've learned that it's unlikely that it'll be me that wipes the group.
      2) I've become part of a group of wonderful people, my guild and gamer family. We played together for so many years, in LOTRO and now in SWTOR. We know each other's personal quirks, our strengths and weaknesses. It's not about being the best or showing how good you are, it's about team play and getting there together. They have become my friends as much as my real life friends, so I feel absolutely comfortable chatting to them on voice chat. I couldn't be happier!

      P.S. My comment also became a blog post of itself. Thanks for the inspiration! Maybe I'll write something more on this in the future as well. As always, I feel honoured if something I wrote inspired you to write a post. Especially so because they are so rare! I'm looking forward to reading it. :)

      P.P.S. Where are the Stardew Valley posts? I know close to nothing about the game, but I remember reading that you're really into it. Isn't it a sort of 2D dating game?

    2. Good points. I guess a bit of self-confidence issues has always been my case too. And even though I did make some good friends in Everquest 2, who I will be eternally grateful for their patience, they are still humans and that triggers my issues. Yeah, yeah, I should just get over it.

      P.S.: Oh, do so! I am starting to have second thoughts about turning mine into a blog post of its own since I don't know if I would add enough content to justify it. I will think about it a bit more.

      P.P.S.: I didn't really have any plans for it. I will see what I can do but it may take me a few days since the season just changed in the game and I need to think what I want to plant. That and most of my farm is pretty bare right now. :p

      And no, it is a farming game in the style of Harvest Moon. If you never played Harvest Moon, well, neither did I, just heard about it. I heard it being compared to Animal Crossing too but that is another game I never played but perhaps you did.

    3. No! You know just as well as I that "should just get over it" is hardly fair. We all have our own dragons to battle, and apparently this is yours. If only it would be as easy as to 'just get over it'...

      If it helps, I don't suffer from any form of official anxiety, and my above comment covered a period of 9 years of gaming. 9 Years! Don't be so stern to yourself. :)

      /mood_sad about the second thoughts, but whatever works for you!

      And hmm, farming game. The only one I ever played was FarmVille and I still have nightmares about that! Haven't played Animal Crossing either, but did hear of it. Anyway, you've made me curious about it now, so I'm eagerly awaiting your blog post, which will undoubtedly give a good overview of the game.

      P.S. I got the screenshot! *makes the "I watch you" sign* :P

    4. I know and I would never say that to another person. But when it is me talking about myself the gloves are off!

      I never played FarmVille but considering the horror stories I hear about it I can safely say that Stardew Valley could not be more different and more fun.

      I am writing the posts now.

      P.S.: Uh... So, nice weather today, huh? *tries to change the subject*

  2. Aw Congrats on this milestone! <3
    I prefer to record and edit gameplay than to stream. Its just scary because I always feel like people watching are judging your every move, especially when it comes to gaming but I have been in a couple streams my friends host. I'm just usually the quietest.

    1. I know what you mean! One of my worst nightmares is hitting the training dummy on a new class with my boyfriend watching over my shoulder. When I feel I'm finally getting the hang of it, he'll always make a comment about something to improve.

      Luckily I didn't have to deal with this during the stream. It helped a lot that it wasn't *me* streaming, of course: you can't always see my character. But mostly it was because I feel comfortable PvPing, just because I've done it so often, also on ranked (competitive) level. That plus the sage class is my favourite.

      What game(s) did you stream/record?

    2. Haha omg! My boyfriend is the exact same way! He's always watching my technique during games and then telling me what I need to improve on u_u I know they only do this to help us out, but gosh darn, sometimes it just a plunge to my self-esteem lol

      Haha well I'm glad you have fun, nevertheless! The stream sure looks like you all did!

      Me and my friends usually stream/record league of legends, but it is mostly just funny highlights or really cool plays. Sometimes we'll record minecraft, but it isn't so often and when we do record, we never get to editing it. I'm hoping to start recording Tera soon if my channel gets a little bigger and my viewers seem to show interest in it. Also super excited for Overwatch to be released so I can do some recording on that!

  3. Haha, now I'm really glad I didn't comment on your accent! (I did consider it at one point.)

    I'm the same in that I prefer writing to performing, for many of the reasons Rakuno also lists above (being introverted, feeling more like myself in writing etc.), but I have to admit that sometimes I do wish I was more comfortable with some of the "new" media (podcasts, streams etc.) purely to reach out to more people. I liked joining Traitine because it took a lot of the pressure off; it wasn't my stream, I was just a guest, so I didn't worry too much about how I'd come across, while still getting a chance to try it out.

    Plus, you know, lowbie PvP is just plain fun. :D

    1. Just being a guest and it not being my own stream certainly took a lot of the pressure off for me as well, so I'm grateful for that!

    2. Your English was just fine! At least you know another language. I know a little Spanish, and even less German from a LONG time ago. Meeting people around the world has been the best part about streaming. I love hearing accents. From Chile, to Finland, Australia to Latvia. Interacting with people from such different backgrounds is really rewarding.

      One REALLY fun thing is trying to explain local sayings. Like my 'ball magnet' comment to Shintar. The response from you two was just hilarious!

    3. Oh, there was nothing wrong with Rav's accent - it just reminded me of my Dutch guildies immediately. :D

  4. Rav and Shintar, gaming together. What could possibly go wrong? ;-)

    1. Well, it did go sort of wrong for the enemy - I blame it on togruta twin cuteness overload effect! (I forgot to mention this in the article, but we were both playing baby togrutas, see stream in article at 1:09.)

      We even managed to win an arena 3 vs 4: :O
      And somehow we managed not to talk about blogging! (Okay, well, not the whole time!) ;)

  5. Great job on the matches :D
    Voice chat is always a battle with me. Easy to type because it can be edited before sending. Can't do that while talking. I've been practicing diction exercises recently to overcome my bad slurring habit.
    Glad you were able to fight your fear of not joining, totally understand where you're coming from there.

    1. Thank you for the kind words. :$ I saw you're actually doing videos nowadays. To me that's incredibly brave! *high five*

    2. :D Thanks *high five back*
      Was definitely a fight to get started, and to continue them. It's been rewarding though.


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