Happy New Year! 2018 Edition

Wasn’t 2017 just awful? Like, I experienced a lot of nagging, near-constant terribleness throughout. A whopping case of bronchitis at the top of the year led swiftly (and directly) to throwing out my lower back, which kept me bed-ridden for like a month. I battled vertigo, I re-injured my back right before a big birthday trip (which was thusly cancelled), and then strangely I developed an acute case of debilitating tendinitis in my right hand that I suffered with for over a month (as soon as my back felt good again, naturally) , that only a ginormous shot helped relieve.

Not to mention we got the biggest lame-o president ever, here in the States, but that’s just, like, macro-level stuff that I can’t even fathom right now.

Suffice it to say: I’m so done with 2017.

[A little aside here that it wasn’t all bad – some really cool stuff happened in 2017, too: I completed my 2017 Goodreads Challenge by reading over 24 books (averaging 337 pages!), and I became an Affiliate on Twitch and made a bunch of new friends online who are totally stellar humans!]

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But as the year came to a close and I spent a couple of amazing weeks with Mr. Wez and Benny, I felt really buoyed and optimistic about this new year. Assuming my body doesn’t murder me this year, it can only get better, right? (Best not to check King Orange-One’s tweets right now…)

So as the December days crawled towards their end and January was nearly upon us, I began to imagine what I wanted to do with myself in 2018. How could I take the proverbial reins and find some absorbing challenges for myself that would give me a sense of ownership in this time of my life where everything feels like super cray-cray? A few things sprang to mind, and I’ll share them here!

In no particular order:

Stream more, but don’t take it as seriously. This first half of this would be almost impossible not to do since I had to take a bunch of time off in 2017 when my back and hand went out. I’m going a step further and extending my hours by two each streaming day (starting at 2pm pacific time instead of 4pm). As for the not taking it as seriously: I’ve been approaching streaming as a job. I track my income, keep receipts, constantly strive to improve quality, pay a lot of attention to followers gained and lost… Only one of those is really valuable right now, and I’ll let you guess which. I need to take a step back, breathe a bit, and take stock in why I got involved on Twitch in the first place: it’s a platform I totally dig, using technology I totally dig, whilst playing videogames (which I also, totally dig). I’m gonna work at taking the “work” out of streaming. And who knows, maybe more fun = more friends?

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Continue reading. I set my 2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge goal to 18 books – splitting the difference between 2016 and 2017, because while I still wanna push my reading, I wanna spread out my bonus time to more endeavors. I still can’t believe I’ve completed these challenges two years in a row! Would you like to take the challenge with me? Feel free to find and friend me here on Goodreads!

Drum more. Many of you may not know that I was quite the accomplished little drummer girl in high school. I was in all the school bands (marching band, drumline, jazz band, wind ensemble – I even made the All-American High School Band!), and was also in my fair share of cringe-named rock bands who played even-more-cringe-named venues (“The Vampyr Lounge”, which was an early-90’s era local coffee shop **cringe**). I have an amazing Roland V-drum kit gathering dust in the guest room and I can’t believe I don’t play it more. It’s always so fun (and quite the workout!), so I’m promising myself to play at least once a week – even if for only one punishing Queens of the Stone Age song!

Get outside. I love hiking. Like, more than I should what with having clumsy, arthritic feet. 2014 was the year I got serious about hiking and exploring the Pacific Northwest – I never felt so empowered and adventurous! 52hikeI wanna get back to ascending those heights, walking through tree-filled forests, and generally getting the good kind of sore and sweaty. I have a lot of conditioning to do, but what better way to do it than attempt the #52HikeChallenge? I stumbled across this challenge on Instagram and while it seems daunting, it also totally seems doable. WanderWez is born! I’ll be sharing more of my hiking exploits here and on Twitter, so stay tuned.

I think that’s more-than-enough resolutions for me this year. I feel like this list is more the embracing-one’s-wants type of list than a rejecting-one’s-flaws type, and I feel pretty great about that. What resolutions have you made for yourself for 2018?  Share in the comments!

 

One-Hit WonderWez Debuts Aug 26th 2017 at 1pm PDT!

OMG you guys. YOU GUYS! We hit 10 whole subs. Ten. T-E-N! That’s amazing. I can’t even. I figured it was time to have another celebration around here, and hitting 10 Twitch subscribers seems a valid excuse to have a party. I’ve been wanting to try something new on-stream for awhile now, and this here’s the perfect time I think!

I’m pleased/nervous to announce the debut of my first Creative stream series I’m calling “One-Hit WonderWez”. I could try to type out an explanation, but I figured recording  video would be easier 🙂

Hope to see you there this Saturday, August 26th at 1pm Pacific Time! http://www.twitch.tv/wonderwez

Grand Return Event on July 22nd – Details Herein!

What’s up, Woo Crew?!? I hope you all are doing spectacular. I’m feeling pretty spectacular myself (in contrast to how crummy my back has felt since early June), and in fact I’ve been doing so well I’m pleased to announce my official return to streaming on July 22nd, 2017.

Yes, on Saturday, July 22nd from 12pm to 5pm Pacific Daylight Time, I will return to Twitch to celebrate my new Affiliate Subscription availability (can we get some subscriber hype going? Who’s gonna be the first to subscribe?!?), and to introduce you all to a game called THE LONG DARK. Some of you may be already familiar with it as it’s been in pre-release on Steam and Xbox One for a while now, but the full version (with a new as-yet-unreleased Story Mode) will be launching on all platforms (including PS4) on August 1st.

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THE LONG DARK is a survival game set in Northern Canada where you find yourself out in the elements after a mysterious geomagnetic storm with your character having to scavenge for food, shelter, and supplies whilst steering clear of wily animal predators and punishing weather patterns. The Story Mode promises to provide more details about the circumstances which led to this apocalypse of sorts.

On Saturday’s stream, I will be playing the Sandbox mode, whish is basically just the player alone in the world, trying to survive for as long as possible. And not just any Sandbox mode – I will be playing it on the hardest difficulty available in the game – Interloper Mode. For survival game fans, this is considered one of the most brutal and challenging survival experiences a game can offer, and I am TOTALLY UNPREPARED to experience it!

Fret not, there is a method to my madness and this choice is for your benefit! Why? Well we’re gonna be gamifying this terrible idea for you all – viewers of the stream will be able to enter their guesses for:

  1. How many times my character dies (and I need to start completely over) during the stream.
  2. The longest time I’m able to survive (in days, hours, and minutes)
  3. The shortest time I’m able to survive (in days, hours, and minutes)

The viewers who have the closest guesses without going over will win prizes, including a digital copy of the game (digital copy may be region-restricted; I will update with more info soon)!

Below are the rules and stuff, so you know what to expect…

Rules for Me:

  • I will play on Interloper Mode with a Random Location start.
  • No map look-ups – if I don’t know where I’m going, I don’t know where I’m going and I’ll likely die because of it!

Rules for Viewers wishing to enter the contest:

  • Must be 18 years or older and must be legally able to enter contests like this.
  • Must be a follower of the channel.
  • One entry per person. Subscribers to the channel may enter twice with different guesses if they wish. Duplicate entries from non-subscribers will be forfeit.
  • All entry guesses must be UNIQUE. You will be prompted to alter your guess on the form if someone has already entered using that precise number (this is to prevent ties, so get your guesses in early!)
  • All entries must be submitted by 3pm Pacific Time. After that entries will be closed.
  • Due to form limitations, only the first 99 entries will be counted. A link to the form will be provided once the contest starts!
  • Winners must be in chat to claim prizes. If the winner is a regular (30+ hours of prior viewing time) or a subscriber, they may be absent, but will have until 3pm Pacific Daylight Time on Sunday July 23rd to claim their prize via Twitch Whisper response.
  • If a winner is not available to claim their prize per the terms above, the prize will be awarded to the runner up until someone claims. In case of a regular or subscriber notified and non-responsive via whisper, if the runner up fails to claim their prize by Monday July 24th at 3pm Pacific Daylight Time, the prize will be forfeited and saved for a future event.
  • Entrants who fail to comply with the channel rules will forfeit their entry and risk being banned.

The Prizes!

See, this is what you’re all here for, right? Okay, so here are the prizes:

  • Number of Deaths Prize: PC Steam Code for “THE LONG DARK”!
  • Longest Survival Time Prize:  $10.00 USD Amazon.com Gift Card
  • Shortest Survival Time Prize: $10.00 USD Amazon.com Gift Card

Still with me? It looks complicated, but really it’s not. The above rules are written out just so there’s no confusion or consternation on the day of the event. We’re gonna have a blast with a new stream look, new sounds, a new game, and hopefully some new friends and the first subscribers to the channel, ever! If you’re not already following, find me on Twitch: http://www.twitch.tv/wonderwez, drop a follow, and make sure to turn notifications on so you don’t miss it!

Subscriptions are Live! (Happy Birthday to Me!)

I’m celebrating my birthday this year after being stuck in the house for a couple weeks with a bad back, and it’s been a huge bummer not being able to stream for you all on the regular. Gotta be honest, my mood has been pretty low from the pain and inability to do anything except lie down on the couch all day in a very specific “position of comfort”.

But man, oh man, were my spirits lifted when I heard the news that came out today:

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Twitch Affiliates (of which I am one) now have subscriptions available! Similar to Partner Streamers, we have four different tiers available:

  • $4.99/month – gain access to an exclusive emote
  • $9.99/month – gain access to the emote above and an additional emote
  • $24.99/month – gain access to both emotes above and a third exclusive emote
  • Twitch Prime Sub – gain access to the $4.99 tier emote and rewards – your subscription is FREE TO YOU with a Twitch Prime membership

In addition to the emotes (which I still need to have designed, it might be awhile because I’m sure all the artists are SWAMPED!),  I will be offering my own tiered subscriber benefits (TBD), but they’ll include things like bonus entries to giveaways/contests and other exclusives.

Before I leave this here and am done with it, we should really talk more about Twitch Prime because it is an amazing service and it has loads of benefits. Do you have an Amazon Prime subscription? If so, you can also have a Twitch Prime subscription FOR NO ADDITIONAL COST. That’s right, because Twitch is now owned by Amazon.com, members of their Prime service can link their Twitch account and gain all the benefits of a Twitch Prime sub.

These benefits include: NO ADS (woo!), in-game loot (characters, vehicles, cosmetic items, experience, etc.) for certain games (including major titles like Overwatch), discounts on games sold by Amazon, and one free subscription to any Partner or Affiliate streamer on Twitch. And on top of that you get the free shipping and movie/tv content and music via Amazon Prime, which is already a huge benefit. For me and Mr. Wez, the $99/year sub pays for itself in shipping discounts every year.

One caveat: to sub to your favorite streamer on Twitch using Twitch Prime, you have to manually resub every month. It’s kind of a hassle to remember if you plan to re-sub regularly, but fret not: anyone who subs to me using a Twitch Prime sub will get monthly reminders from me when their sub is about to expire.

So that’s that – subscriptions are live for Affiliates like me and this is a major, MAJOR step forward for the channel. This is a huge opportunity for me to earn some much-needed small income to keep up streaming for the long-term. The only bummer is that I can’t hop on right now and stream for you all to get that sub hype rolling! But fear not, as soon as my back is healed I will be back to streaming and we’ll have a big celebration together – stay tuned!

Week of Warcraft

This week I’ll be streaming TONS AND TONS of World of Warcraft. Why? Well, beyond the fact that it allows for another amazing opportunity for alliteration, Legion-time is nigh and this week we’ll be getting two awesome events in-game to get things rolling:

First up, there’s Demon Hunter access for pre-orders. Yes, for those of us who’ve pre-ordered the Legion expansion (I did basically for the awesome pet), and who also have at least one level 70+ toon already (just read that, so newbies might wanna start leveling now!), the new Demon Hunter class will be available for selection when creating a new character starting tomorrow. I wouldn’t rate myself highly at playing alts (I ❤ my warrior main), so I’m not as stoked as everyone else may be, but the character models do look pretty awesome, and the double-jump and glide abilities have loads of utility. Learn more about the new Demon Hunter class here, and if you haven’t seen it already, check out this excellent video highlighting a Demon Hunter origin-story:

The big excitement for me is the pre-expansion event – the Burning Legion invasion – scheduled to begin tomorrow. In six zones around the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor, demons will be dropping from the skies ready to wreak havoc on Azeroth, and it’s our duty as players to band together to hold them off – and collect loot doing so!

felbat-pupv9761I won’t go into all the details here, but Wowhead has a pretty in-depth guide to the whole event: locations, what the different stages are, and the rewards. I’m in it for the Felbat Pup companion pet, personally. I started playing WoW back in January of 2009 – several months after the launch of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, and I will always regret those pets from launch events past that I’ll never have access to… *sigh*

There’s also some transmog items, for those of you Fabulous folks out there! I don’t yet have a feel for how many of the rewards are going to be possible to acquire during the event (can you catch them all???), but hopefully I’ll get enough play time to grab what I need.

Suffice it to say, my streaming schedule this week will be completely dedicated to WoW’ing it up. I’m still re-learning to play my Arms Warrior, so hopefully the invasion will give me more opportunity to practice the new skills. Want to know when I’m streaming live? You have two options available: first you can follow me on Twitch and allow live notifications there, or you can follow me on Twitter for the official announcements of when I go live. Hope to see you there!

If you do not play World of Warcraft but are interested in starting, I have a limited supply of Starter Edition codes available that I’d be happy to send through the Recruit-a-Friend program. To take advantage of this offer, head on over to Twitter and follow me (@wonderwezgaming) and then tweet me your request including the phrase “WoW Starter” (no DM’s, please).