Life, New World and Star Citizen


We're about to see if Star Citizen is at a point where it can stand up as a casually played MMO. I need something! MMOs are where I escape for a little while to decompress, exhale and have fun adventures, and I'm desperately in need of that now. Even now, when I see a picture of my daughter in the hospital, she looks - normal. It doesn't look like she's in a fight for her life, but she is.

2021 sucked for a whole lot of us due to life being life and COVID. Unfortunately, it was really tough for my youngest daughter, who is my middle child. She's battled autoimmune disorders for the past few years but felt like she was declining toward the last quarter of 2021. Numerous doctor visits where no one seemed to care much beyond, it's probably stress, so yielded no help. Then within the course of three weeks, she went completely blind in her left eye and started experiencing muscle weakness down the same side of her body. It took stumbling on one doctor, a referral from my optometrist for someone in the medical profession to give a damn. You'd think someone going blind is a normal thing for all anyone cared.

Jenn 1stGetting Plasma Treatments Just before Christmas

Due to this one hero, she was immediately admitted to a hospital he trusted even though he doesn't practice there. She's been diagnosed with NMO, an autoimmune disorder that attacks the central nervous system, eyes, and brain. They tried everything they could but it was too late to do anything for her left eye so focused on retaining vision in her right which was experiencing symptoms. The full story and updates are on her GoFundMe page. She's self-employed so you know what that means if you live in the US - bills and loss of income are your own problem. If you're able and feel inclined, this is her GoFundMe that I'm managing on her behalf.

_ Jenn_n_Kids


I arrived at gaming, particularly MMOs when I was diagnosed with cancer. I had three small children at home, while I was being cared for 45-minutes away. Desperate to find something to occupy my mind in between surgeries I found online games and latched on, as a way to share experiences with my children at a distance. In case the worst happened, I didn't want tears to be the last memories we shared. I wrote them each a book of poetry and wrote individual letters. I wanted them to be certain of how much I loved them - not assume, presume, wonder. The strange tricks our minds play on us after a tragedy. They would have it in black and white. God is good. I survived, have remained cancer-free, and gaming became a staple of our lives.

I turned nieces, nephews, best friend's kids all into hardcore gamers, of the MMO variety. And since that very first MMO, Asheron's Call 2, we've played every triple-A MMO developed for North America together through Guild Wars 2. We even played a couple of imports such as Tera and ArcheAge. Through high school, college, and beyond. The girls and I played Don't Starve Together as well. My illness formed a bond with gaming to have shared virtual experiences that persisted 20+ years later. It doesn't matter where we individually live, we game together.

They game less now that they have careers and families, as do I owed to a demanding profession but talking about games never ends. Did you see this trailer? Hey, I heard about this, that or the other remains. We're also very close as a family. I text or speak to my children every day - literally, every day at least text messages are exchanged.


I've been searching for a new MMO home for a long time. No matter how often I've tried, I can't return to World of Warcraft. I own every expansion and never make it past a few levels, and yet I buy them hoping the magic will return for me. My son and nephew tried to corral us all back into WOW Classic but after watching the beta and remembering the effort and time commitment, not a single one of us returned retained an interest. With all that's going on, I need something to play.

I've been looking forward to New World, Ashes of Creation, and Star Citizen as my MMO swan songs. Large scale MMOs are far and few that aren't built around cash shops can become contentious. New World being funded by Amazon Games seemed like a good possibility. And I wasn't too far off. The game world, combat, animations, and extensive crafting are really great. However, the random mechanics around crafted attributes and the watermark grind for gear is a no for me. Toward the last stretch, it sucked out my enthusiasm. There was no reasonable way to get the gear need to participate in the end game so I exited. I might game a couple of hours every few days. I need something that supports casual but rewarding progression.

The jury is still out on Ashes of Creation. However, as it stands today, I'm not of fan of animations or combat. I backed the game a  couple of years ago so we'll have to wait and see. That leaves me with Star Citizen. The MMO I'm most excited about even though my concerns over the game's progress have increased as the years go by. I don't have any doubts that they're attempting in good faith to build the game they promised. I am, however, concerned that they've become too enamored with crafting a universe more than the game itself. After all these years, not a single one of the half-dozen player professions I backed via ship pledges has even hit tier 0 implementation but two are on the horizon.


The infancy of passenger transport is estimated to arrive in Q1 2022. Ship refueling and hacking are getting air time. The glorious space bazaar, the Banu Merchantman, is in production. For a player who only does combat out of necessity and never does FPS, is there enough content in Star Citizen to support it being my primary MMO? Well, I'm about to find out.

I'm not into surfing games or hopping around. My enjoyment comes from the progression of a character through a well-conceived world. And while I am baffled by the lack of content, that to me, seems like missed opportunities using the assets and mechanics currently in the game, only CIG knows why that is. But since is the game that I planned to be the last man standing, I'm going to see how it fits today.

I'd like to say that I'm going to get Casual Citizen Season 2 in the can. It's sad really. Two stories have been finished for months and the final story only needs the last 25% edited but the way my life feels at the moment, it's a bridge too far.

Jenn, my daughter who's ill, lives within walking distance. I began spending more time with them as her health went into decline. I take kids for the weekend more often to give their parents a break and some alone time. They both work a lot of hours. The stress of that, COVID, the decision to home-school their children to keep them safe, both of whom are autistic, and her undiagnosed health issues were wearing on their relationship. Everyone at their wit's end, and now this.

They've united around this tragedy but it's hard and it's heartbreaking. When I have precious time for me, I have to do what gives me some relief, and gaming evolved into my preferred form of entertainment. Oh, and yes, I was diagnosed with Graves' Disease several months back. So when I say 2021 can fuck all the way off, I mean that with a vengeance.




December 30, 2022

January 28, 2022

October 30, 2021

October 16, 2021

September 13, 2021

September 06, 2021

August 07, 2021

August 06, 2021

The Smithes

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