mellificent: (Xmas bow)
Well, I'm not talking about the news. No way no how. So instead, let's talk about Wintersday, which is the GuildWars version of the holidays. GW2's Wintersday just started today, but I have a million screenshots (ok, maybe not quite a million) from old GuildWars and I loved Wintersday there, so I thought I'd post some of those.

This is Old Ascalon, I believe, and this is my dervish, Sharzad:
Sharzad finds the candy canes 

Here's my ranger Mila in Lion's Arch (note the carolers in the background):
Mila in Lion's Arch
(I don't know how well you can read that text, but Dwayna is the lightbringer, see, thus the carols are about her.)

More screenshots.. )
mellificent: (KoL PrufRock)
I went into Glitch for a while, earlier, and there seemed to be a bit of a party going on at Cebarkul:

Last day of Glitch - at Cebarkul

(There were some things that have been added since I last really played, which was months ago - I guess floating cubimals was one of them!)

People in Glitch have always been fond of making arrangements of various items - I think I posted one last December that I found up in a tree. (Here.) The arrangements are necessarily temporary, because anything that you drop on the ground (or in a tree, it works the same) can be picked up by anybody else who comes along, and somebody always does. I bet even today, when hoarding stuff is not going to do you one bit of good, there's still people going around picking stuff up.

I did enjoy Glitch a lot, and I played it off and on for a long time. Keeping your animals alive is an art form. I think that was partly what kept me playing so long. And there was a lot of territory to explore, which I always enjoy. It's a shame Glitch never found a large-enough audience to keep it going. I think a lot of people don't know what to do without a ton of quests to grind!
mellificent: (GW - ele icon)
I never got around to doing an entry yesterday - I worked late in the afternoon, even though it was Friday, and then I got on a big GW2 tear last night and played right up until I went to bed. I was trying to finish up an area called Blazeridge Steppes, and I did get that finished. Next is what I think of as "the pirate zone" - I think its official name is Bloodtide Coast, although I have a terrible time with all these names in this game - they are almost all compound names like that and they're really easy to mix up.

So since I'm on the game tear and I can't actually play where I am right now, I might as well write about it. I always end up writing to a greater or lesser degree about whatever game I'm playing - I know it doesn't interest everybody but at least it's not another entry about parents and death! I'm not in the mood for anything serious today anyway.

Guild Wars 1 was my first MMO (I nosed around in my archives and here, apparently, is the first time I played it, in March 2006. I still had dial-up back then and the load times were horrendous, but I remember having a good time and thinking about how amazing the artwork was, once I finally got to where I could play.) I had been playing some sort of MMO-like things before that like KoL and Dofus (both of which are still around - I know KoL is not an MMO at all in most ways, being entirely web-based and single-player and with no graphics fancier than a gif, but still, it's clearly heavily MMO-influenced and it served for me as sort of a gateway thing). My friend Col got me interested in MMOs, and walked me through it and was mostly endlessly patient about it - and we're still playing together all this time later, at least when he's not writing novels (as he is now) and when we can agree on a game to play. We've been through, let's see, various editions of GW1 and now 2, various releases of WoW, Auto Assault (long-gone now, that one is), LOTRO, DDO, Rift, SWTOR, and a fling with The Secret World last summer. We've both played various other things alone but those are the ones we've played together, unless I'm forgetting something.

So I guess I'm more or less an MMO veteran nowadays, although I don't generally do dungeons or raids or PvP or all of those kind of things that a lot of people spend all their game-time doing. (I did a sort of dungeon-type thing with some of my new guildies a few weeks ago and man, do I suck at it. I hear other people talking about this particular one - it's called fractals or FotM - so I know it's hard for everybody, but still I'm pretty sure I was worse than most people. I felt sorry for the poor people who were stuck with me.) But I do pretty well at normal (PvE) gameplay most of the time. I tend not to pay much attention to things like builds and how you're "supposed" to do things in any given game, and that tends to bite you in the butt when you get into big groups and they expect you to have certain skills. (Also apparently FotM is apparently really meant for level 80s with fancy gear and I was about 60 at the time with no fancy gear whatsoever, but nobody told me about that at the time. The game does level you up to 80 stat-wise but it doesn't magically improve your gear. I guess it could, but it doesn't.)

My main solo character in GW2 is named Rina, and in the last few weeks since Col has been mostly absent and I've been playing her pretty much exclusively, she has gone from 55 to 80, which is the max in this game. I think this is especially a feat given that she's an elementalist, meaning she has light armor (although I play her as fire, mostly, and she can really do a ton of damage to everybody else), and given my generally-unorthodox play style.
Read more... )
(The icon is from old GW - it was one of the elementalist skill icons, as I recall. It might have been Phoenix.)
mellificent: (Dr Who - giant robot)

As I have undoubtedly said before, I have never understood that "5 random things make an entry" meme. I find it unaccountably annoying, somehow. Why 5? What's wrong with three? or seven, for that matter? (Which isn't to say that I'll stop with three, anyway, I'm just sayin'.)

I've been reading back over my old Holidailies entries, and maybe I should resolve with Stef to talk LESS about the holidays, odd as that may seem. (Everybody needs to read Stef's entry, in any case, because it's awesome.) I can just refer you back to the last five-years-plus of old Holidailies entries for pretty much any particular holiday subject, anyway.

I've been doing this for more than 5 years, actually, if not quite from the beginning, but the oldest ones were on Diary-X and are long-gone. There's lots of whining about that in the LJ archives, too, if you're interested. (Also some on my old Whys and Wherefores blog, which I had forgotten about until I went looking for the CW bit that I linked yesterday. There are also some resurrected entries from Diary-X over there - the link above is to one - that I had forgotten were there, and I can't say that I remember exactly where I resurrected them from, either. Maybe I had just saved some of them on Notebook or somewhere like I'm doing with this one now.)

I'm at work and it's slow, so this might be a long entry. Or if it gets really long, I might go ahead and post it and start another one! Hopefully it won't be THAT slow, though, or it's gonna be a long afternoon. Generally I am good at finding ways to fill my afternoons on slow days, though. I read Go Fug Yourself, or look at Pinterest, and I used to fool around with Glitch, a year or so ago when I was still all into that. I mention that because I was just over  there - although being there generally seems kind of useless now, since it's about to shut down. I had a bunch of credits, though, so I bought some wardrobe stuff, just the same (see below) - I think it's appropriate that I go out wearing a tiara! (Old joke which a few of you will get...)

In other game news, our current one is Guild Wars 2, which I am not going to talk about too much right now, because I'm sure there will be one or more entries about at a later date, assuming I follow past patterns. I will say, though, that my sylvari elementalist is up to level 75, now, since I've been playing her exclusively. And the reason for that is that Col, my normal game-playing partner, has been off writing a novel. (Not doing NaNoWriMo, or he'd be done now - theoretically, anyway. He's just writing a novel.) Anyway, sticking with one character is not something I normally do, much, and it does do wonders for leveling. 80 is the cap in this game, so I'm going to get there, and soon. I'm not anywhere near done with the story part of the game, though.


Really completely random thing: my dad got stung by jellyfish so many times that he became immune. (I think it was Guild Wars that reminded me of this, because there are jellyfish pets. They are much cooler than real jellyfish. Or cooler than the jellyfish that I have personally encountered, anyway.)


I am amused that half of the Holidailies entries I have read so far are something to the effect of, "Fuck, why did I sign up for this?" I've been doing this long enough that I have quit panicking about it. I always manage to think of something to say. It's never great art, but oh well. (That could be my motto in life, actually.)


My Glitch character:
glitch

mellificent: (buffy quote - death star)
OK, so this is what I get up to in The Old Republic when [livejournal.com profile] columbina isn't around - he was off today, and we played for a couple of hours this morning, but he left with a migraine around lunchtime. So after he left I:
1. decided I needed (game) money (which is, in grand old Star Wars tradition, actually called "credits" rather than money), and one way to get it is to kill a lot of stuff. So I...
2. run around the planet where we already were (Balmorra) and kill a lot of stuff. This does get me moneycredits, slowly, from looting directly and also from picking up sellable items. It also gives me a slow but steady pickup of xp (experience points), which is probably going to displease Col later because he doesn't really like it when I get ahead, and we have been playing these characters entirely together. But oh well, I didn't do it on purpose to get xp, and I didn't do any quests. (Well, except for one which I mention below, but that's a daily so it doesn't count either.)
3. I was also picking up archaeological items at the same time - that's my Sith's gathering profession - and I did some crafting along the way, and then I realized that I was running out of the crystals that you get earlier on, and I wasn't getting any more of them on Balmorra. But none of the crafting recipes used the higher-level items yet, so I decided to go to the Imperial Fleet to the crafting trainer, and see if I had any new recipes yet. (Eventual answer: I did, but they were not much help.)
    Now the game does not make this bit of travel really easy to do - I guess going from one planet to another really ought not be that easy, should it? so I trekked back to town to the spaceport, got on my ship, made the jump to the fleet (which actually is in an entirely different sector of the galaxy, so the galactic map says), got off the ship again, and ran through the cantina at the center of the spaceport (don't ask me why, but that's where you come out when you get off your ship) and halfway across the spaceport to the trainer - which takes at least as long to do as the hyperdrive jump took. The space station is big.
4. Then I made a pit stop at the Galactic Trade Market (which in any other game would be called the auction hall - although here there's no pretense of an auction, really - you put your stuff up for sale at a price you choose, and people buy it or not). I bought some of the crystals I was looking for at a fairly reasonable price, then I realized that all the rest of them were for sale for much much more (like 100 credits each) and I probably wasn't going to get any more at the reasonable price (which was more like 12 each). So then I...
5. bopped off to another planet, to Dromund Kaas, which is the Sith capital, and is where I got the crystals in the first place, to hunt down some more of them.
6. At DK, I get sidetracked between the spaceport and town by some elites that I figure out I can now kill without getting killed myself. They don't give me xp any more, because I am 10 levels higher than them, but they do give me a fair number of credits and I'm still interested in credits. (I also manage to do a daily that involves killing these elites. Once again, no xp, but credits.)
7. I cut across the bottom of town and head off toward the ruined temple place because I'm really supposed to be hunting those crystals, and I remember that that place had a lot. On the way, I wander into another elite area, and this one doesn't go so well - they are higher level - still lower than me, but they're elites and I'm not big enough to kill these guys yet. I die, poor Vette (my NPC companion) dies, and when I rez, I back the heck out of there.
8. Wander around the exterior of the temple looking for crystals. Find a lot of crystals, eventually also find a green doorway (meaning one I can go into) that I don't think I remember seeing before. Nothing tries to kill you, there's just some machines. (Apparently it is the Matrix Assembly place described here, but I just now got around to looking that up.) I poke around at the machines, and figure out that they have something to do with datacrons and something to do with these matrix shard thingys that are lying around in my inventory. Play around with them randomly and end up with a Matrix Cube, which describes itself in the tooltip as a relic, which is something I know there's an inventory slot for. It's not really the stats I need, but oh well. I'm lucky it was something useful at all, and it didn't summon some elite that would have killed me - or make my shards go poof because I did it wrong. I am just pleased I figured it out without consulting the wiki! (I think it was the RYG one I made, and those were the only three colors I had so my options were limited anyway. A blue one would have been required to make the ones for my warrior's primary stat, and I didn't have that.) Never did make it inside the main part of the temple.

So there you are. Got some credits and some useful items, and learned something interesting. Not at all what I expected to do today, but not a total loss, in game terms.
mellificent: (WoW - shiny)

I know some of you are not interested in hearing about games. Sorry about that. I find the differences between games rather endlessly fascinating, which I guess is obvious from the amount I talk about it, isn't it?


In addition to the real-life crafts I'm involved in, which are complicated enough, I seem to accidentally be playing two games right now which have very elaborate crafting systems. First there's Glitch, which has fairly detailed, realistic food recipes for the most part - with some goofy exceptions like the way you make all spices out of allspice, and you make fruit with a fruit-changing machine (out of cherries). I've been playing Glitch for, what, three months now, and so I've got that system mostly down. Not completely, because there are a lot of different crafts and there's a few I haven't really ventured into much, but mostly.

Now there's SWTOR, in which your companions do the crafting for you, technically - but you have to tell them what to do, for the most part. You can actually send them off to do "missions" on their own. You can read the description before you send them but you don't get to hear about what happens after they leave - they just come back with stuff for you, or not. (Them coming back with nothing is fairly rare, so far, but it's happened once or twice.) My Sith warrior, which is my most advanced character, has two companions now, and a ship. (A very nice ship, actually!) The 2nd companion came with the ship, and is a droid. (He says lots of comically servile things, C-3PO style, which I can't remember enough of to quote right now.)

Anyway, in SWTOR you have three "professions" - a crafting one, a gathering one, and a third one that I think is called "missions" or something, although actually the gathering one also has missions of its own. So my crew trained to be an Artificer, which so far involves making hilts for lightsabers, and also the color crystals which make the "body" of the saber turn different colors. Then my gathering one is Archaeology, which involves gathering crystals and various kinds of artifacts, and the third one is Treasure-Hunting, interestingly enough. (All Indiana Jones - similar to Archaeology, but not quite the same!) Some missions are to come back with lockboxes which might have money in them or other stuff, some are for different items which you can give to your companions as gifts, others are for gems. See what I mean about complicated? Oh, and also, sometimes she comes back with gift "fragments" which you can take to a "curator" who is supposed to be able to combine them. Col actually got sort of mad at me while I was wandering all over Fleet HQ - which is HUGE - trying to find this curator person. It turned out that they're really just sort of a vendor - you go to them with the proper number of fragments and they offer you a choice of several different gifts you can buy with your fragments. It really is kind of a crazy system.

mellificent: (nothing to say)
(I'll shut up about SWTOR in a couple of days. Probably.)

SWTOR is officially open for business, as of a couple of hours ago. It wasn't even all that crowded when I went in. Juyo, where we were playing last week, was full, but they'd opened a lot of new servers and most of them weren't. I guess starting at midnight eastern means a lot of the kids have gone to bed, the east coast ones, anyway. It's hard to tell what the mix of people is for this game, although I commented early on that I'd heard more sort of vaguely (and occasionally not so vaguely) mysogynist talk in chat here and there than in most of the other games we've played. It's a more military-seeming game, it may get more of an FPS sort of crowd, I don't know. Some people definitely come from an MMO background - by which I mean WoW and Rift and the usual swords-and-sorcery kind of thing - but maybe not all of them.

I made a smuggler just now, because my bounty hunter was on the other server, the full one. (Smuggler is on the Republic side, bounty hunter is Imperial. They're practically the same, character-wise, really, except that they start on different planets and have different story lines - which makes them end up being not the same at all.) I am enjoying playing imperials, and especially the Sith, just because all the plots and the political machinations are so interesting. The Sith Warrior has a boss (or a "master") who seems like a nice enough guy - but then you are summoned to Darth somebody, who tells you to go kill the first guy, your master. And because I'm playing for dark points - I'm a Sith, after all - I do it. Actually, I suspect that even if you refuse - if you even can - you end up having to kill him, because he tries to kill you first. So if you kick about it, you just lose dark points. (And if you don't want dark points, why are you playing a Sith, really? Although it might be interesting to try to do a nice Sith, just for fun. I might try it sometimes. Col can tell you that I like starting new characters just for the fun of it, anyway - I have a long history of doing that.)
____________________________________

This is the first game I've played where you get a "companion" - meaning, an NPC who goes around with you. Well, GuildWars had henchmen and heroes, who you could take out with you on fights. Nightfall's "heroes" were probably pretty close to this, I guess. Anyway, I haven't played any game lately, let's say, that had anything like this system. It seems to be becoming fairly common, though, from what I've heard people saying about other games. So anyway...

A Sith Warrior gets a Twi'lek for a companion - you know, the ones with the long tail-like things growing from the back of their heads, like in Jabba's palace in Return of the Jedi? This Twi'lek is a girl, and when you first see her, she has on a shock collar, and she's talking back to the jailer, just the same. Her name is Vette, and she's sort of a treasure-hunter sort of character. (In character for the Sith, who, remember, do have slaves - she is still a slave, more or less, and still has the collar on. I've even used it a couple of times when I had to for dark points, although that's of course not something I would ever do on my own. I've promised her if she "behaves" I'll remove it.) Col's Sith Inquisitor got a really big, really ugly guy of some unknown species for a companion (I can't remember his name, either) who you find in suspended animation in a tomb.

My bounty hunter hasn't gotten far enough to get assigned a companion yet, but I've already figured out who it's going to be. That one is another girl, named Mako. She's sort of a techie kind of person, but cute. (Some of those misogynistic comments I mentioned concerned what they'd like to do to Mako, as a matter of fact.) I also got far enough in beta to get one assigned to my Republic Trooper, and that one was sort of like getting your worst enemy attached to you - he was a guy named Aric who had been a real pain in the butt from the moment my character walked in the door. I actually successfully called it several levels before it happened - actually what I said was, "Please tell me he's not going to be my companion," and sure enough, stuff happens in the meantime, and the guy who was your boss is suddenly now your subordinate.

(To round out the other ones I've seen: smugglers get a sort of surfer-dude kind of guy, which annoyed Col no end when he was playing smuggler in beta, and Imperial agents get a tough-talking bald girl, who I only saw for a little while, because my lightsaber-wielding Sith turned out to be a bad combination with the IA, who can blast down everything in sight in what seemed like no time, and I was having trouble getting to fight anything. It made me really cranky.)
mellificent: (Xmas - pink aluminum)
(written yesterday - I think there was supposed to be more to it than this at the time, but this is as far as I got!)

I got my SWTOR early access. It came slightly earlier than I expected - I figured I would probably have it by the weekend, but I thought it might be tomorrow instead of today. As it happened, I woke up with an earache and sore throat, which unfortunately is not really unusual for me this time of year, so I stayed home today. (I called in before I looked to see whether I had it or not; it seemed like cheating to look, somehow! But I couldn't help but be aware that it was a possibility.) Happily, my symptoms have diminished somewhat - I don't exactly feel on top of the world, but I'm not in real pain any more, anyway, enough that I can enjoy my my game that I've been looking forward to so much.

I've been playing Imperials all day - a bounty hunter, and then my Sith. The Sith trainer says, when you talk to her, "You desire more power? Good." and then when you're finished she says, "Remember - peace is a lie." (In her very posh Alec Guinness-y accent.) I think that gives you a good feeling for what the Sith are all about. They're not portrayed as evil per se - they believe that pursuing power is a good thing, and so is following your passions. Even if those passions aren't noble ones, obviously. (Several of the male NPCs are quite stout, which I guess could be a side-effect of following one's passions, too! So far, I haven't seen a stout female one.)

A bounty hunter is different - you start on Hutta, a swampy backwater run by (naturally) the Hutts. They are not even the natives there, but have seemingly stolen the land from the native Evocii. It's the usual kind of thing - some fellow bounty hunters to kill, some visits with His Immenseness Nem'ro the Hutt, and some side quests where somebody wants you to save their relative and that sort of thing. It's pretty fun.
mellificent: (Xmas - purple star)
Hey, cool, look, glitchmas trees!
Glitchmas trees

Hmm, I hope that's not a ridiculously huge screenshot. But anyway, I thought it was fun. (Didn't make it, just stumbled across it.)

In other Glitch news, I am up to 8 of 11 of my pieces of DNA. (See yesterday if you want to know what the heck I'm talking about.) So yay me! (For what it's worth, I found three in Tamila and I'm not quite done yet. For me, anyway, Tamila was a hotbed of DNA.)

I haven't talked about the holidays much yet. We don't have a tree up - we don't really have a good place to put it at the moment - or much else in the way of decorations inside, but we have lights on the balcony and wreaths and such, and I have been sending out cards. Rather a lot of cards, as a matter of fact, and I'm not done yet. I may post pictures of some of them later, but I have been making cards as well as sending out some bought ones. I might yet make some more - I have new stamps (the rubbery kind, that is, not the ones that you buy from the Postal Service) and I kind of got on a roll with them again last night. I have been collecting bits and pieces of stamping stuff for a while now but I really just this year have really started doing much with them. I called myself a craft hoarder a while back, but I really do think that's for a reason: you kind of hit a critical mass of stuff where you have enough to assemble things. At least, that's how I work. It was true of quilting and I'm finding that it applies here too. I had snowflake stamps that I bought in previous years and I had some snowflake felt things that I bought on clearance last year, and I had blue cardstock that I acquired at some point and various colors (and brands) of blue ink... You pull all this stuff out and contemplate it and voila! Festive snowflake-themed cards start practically making themselves! My cardmaking skillz are not all I would like them to be yet, but that's something that takes practice, and hey, I'm practicing. (And I may still be sending cards out into the new year at this rate, but oh well.)
mellificent: (WoW - chicken)
(Sorry, another game-related entry!)

Columbine got his SWTOR early-access, and I haven't, yet - which is not a surprise, but I'm sort of bored with Rift and so I'm here writing an entry instead. I enjoy playing when he's around, but when he's not, well, I get interested some days and other days, not so much.


I seem to do better at getting interested in Glitch, at least if I don't overdo it. Glitch doesn't have quests like other games do - well, it has quests but they're all gathering and crafting rather than killing things, and there aren't many of them. They added a new achievement recently, which is to find pieces of your DNA, which can be almost anywhere - on 11 random streets throughout the world, and it's a pretty big world and constantly gets bigger. So that's a challenge, and I've been working on that off and on. (If you've played Glitch but not lately: the DNA thing is almost exactly like the ghost quest. The DNA pieces are easier to see than the ghosts but tend to be in rather inaccessible places. And there's a humming sound that alerts you that you're on the right street, which helps an awful lot!)

There are also some new skills, one of which requires herbs that I don't have, and which are going for a ridiculous amount of money in the auction house since everybody else just got the same new skill too. So I decided rather than do that, I would grow my own herbs - but that requires moving again, because you can only grow herbs in certain places. I like my house that I have now pretty well but eh, I'm not that attached to it. So I'm working on using up and/or getting rid of enough stuff that I can move without just giving up too much of it. I don't want to do that! - although one way I'm getting rid of some stuff is by playing santa and leaving bags of stuff around. If I'm going to give stuff away, I'd rather put it in random places where somebody who actually needs it get a shot at it, than give it to whoever buys my house - which is by definition somebody who has some currants to blow! (It's funny how quick game money starts feeling like something almost real. It happens to me in every game I've ever played.)

Hopefully I'll have Star Wars by this weekend, because I don't have to work, for once, so it'd be a good time. After Christmas we go on holiday hours and I'm working nearly every day that week.
mellificent: (WoW - shiny)

OK, well, the first thing I have to say in my first Holidailies post for the year is a link. Most of you have probably seen it by now but if you haven't, go read it, it's funny and it's not very long. There are 9 entries, currently, and I'm linking to the first one. (Warning: cat-related. If you hate cats you will possibly not be amused.)
LOUIS VS RICK
(Also, if you're like me, and you've seen people saying, "CAPS LOCK IS HOW I FEEL INSIDE" all week, this is evidently where it came from.)


I'm not doing an introductory-update thing, at least not today. We'll be doing good for me to get any entry at all up right now, even if it's links and stuff about games. I suppose I could post the link and the paragraph above it and call it an entry, but I'm not going to. Instead I'll keep writing whatever it is that comes into my head next, which tends to be my M.O. in any case. (This is probably not any surprise to most of the Holidailies regulars by now.)

I am pleased that the new guys* managed to get Holidailies up and running in the old format. Reddit just did not cut it for me. Actually the current front page format is still missing my main motivator: the list of who's "above the line" (i.e., actually posting an entry a day) and who's not. If you look back over the years, I am right under the line, if not above it, pretty consistently. I don't know why that works to get me to post, but it does. But anyway, I missed the regular format last year and I'm glad to see it back. So thanks, Richard and Jennifer!! (And thanks to Jette and Chip, too, for finding somebody to hand it over to! as well as for running it all these years.)


* "New guys" who I've known in an online way for years and even sent cards to and such, but still, they're new in this role. Not to mention that one of them is a girl.


...so, games. Let's talk about games. We are currently in sort of a transition between games, that's the thing. We are waiting for SWTOR (that's Star Wars: The Old Republic) to start - I started to write about that the other day (here: http://mellificent.livejournal.com/334777.html) and I got to talking about Star Wars the movies and never really got around to talking about the game, much. [livejournal.com profile] columbina and I are both still sort of playing Rift, and sort of playing Glitch, but we aren't synching up very well with either of those. Occasionally we do sync up in Rift, and once in a while we chat while we both play Glitch, but that's it. We probably are managing sort of 2 nights a week in Rift, for a couple of hours, and once in a while on the weekend. He plays some on the weekends without me and I play some late at night without him. This is probably not going to particularly improve when we start playing SWTOR (which possibly will be as soon as Tuesday, although more likely it will be later in the week).

The schedule problem is because I am neither (a) working 8-5 M-F like I used to nor (b) unemployed, like I was more recently. Nowadays I work two out of three weekends and unless something happens to change that, the game scheduling is going to continue to be an issue. I don't like that part but quite honestly, I don't miss the aforesaid days of working 8-5 M-F, either. I miss the money and it'd be nice to have the bennies back, but really, unless something happens to force my hand, that's not about to happen. So that's that.

Columbine bought SWTOR months ago. I bought it - or so I thought - around Halloween, and then figured out only this past week (I wasn't paying near enough attention, obviously) that the transaction didn't go through the first time and so I repurchased it again. (EA/Origin has it set up really stupidly - you put in your credit card and hit submit, and it gives you a confirmation number, but after that there's a box you have to check and it's down at the bottom of the screen where you can't see it unless you scroll down, and apparently it's not REALLY confirmed until you check the box and hit submit again. So that appears to be what I failed to do the first time.)

We played in the SWTOR beta Thanksgiving weekend, thanks to Col, and then we both got invited to the last, smaller beta last weekend - we figured that was a thank-you present for giving lots of feedback. Col filed lots of bug reports and I did fill out all the surveys and stuff, but I also did a lot of complaining about lag, which presumably they also like to know about, and then I wrote another long note when I figured out how to fix the lag problem, telling them what I changed - and it was much improved last weekend and the graphics choices had been changed, too, so I like to think I helped a tiny bit with that! We both played several different characters and classes at one time or another, including playing on both sides - Republic and Empire. Playing the "dark side" is very entertaining, but it turned out that we both liked playing the classes that use a blaster more than the lightsaber ones - those classes are called trooper and smuggler on the Republic side, and Bounty Hunter and Stormtrooper, I guess, on the Imperial side. With lightsabers you are of course a Jedi or a Sith, and there are a couple of classes for them also - something like a "knight" (of the light or dark persuasion, respectively) and a mage for each side. They have obviously put a lot of thought into the quests and the respective storylines, and also you get Light or Dark points for various choices you make, and that affects what choices you are offered later on, although we didn't really get far enough to see too much of that. So anyway, we liked it and we are looking forward to more, that's what it comes down to. If MMOs and Star Wars are your kind of thing, then this one comes highly recommended.

mellificent: (buffy quote - death star)
I have just come from the end-of-the-world party (that's what they were calling it) at the SWTOR beta. That's Star Wars: The Old Republic, for those of you who don't follow such things. I played right up til about 20 minutes to go, and then I went to the skill trainer. For no good reason except that I wanted to see what the new skills were, really, but I did. Then I went and joined the party, which was on the Senate Plaza in Coruscant, which is, of course, a completely fictional/virtual place. And that's sort of what I wanted to talk about.

More of you probably know things about Star Wars than know much about MMOs (although with a blog audience, it's hard to be sure about that). It's strange, millions of people play MMOs, and Chuck Norris is currently starring in advertisements for one, but they still seem to be an almost underground thing, for the most part. I talk about it some, to people I talk to in real life, but a lot of people don't seem to get it. Usually I don't talk about "MMO's" to real-life people, I say things like, "I've been playing this Star Wars game online." After all, most people do understand computer games nowadays, to one degree or another, even if it's just something like Farmville.

And of course, most people do get Star Wars, to one degree or another. Or if not, they at least know what it is.

I was 17 when the first Star Wars movie came out. I was only vaguely aware of its existence until I went up to Austin for freshman orientation at UT - you know how they do those corny skits for things like orientations? Well, in 1977 at UT, those skits were All Star Wars, All the Time. They even got hold of (or possibly made) a Darth Vader costume somehow. I suspect that most of the incoming freshmen hadn't seen the movie yet, but I'm sure a lot of them were like me and ran right out to see it when they got home. And I loved it, of course. I'm not sure who I went to see it with - maybe my sister or my friend Amy. I remember going to see it a second time when they re-released it in the fall, though, and then a third and fourth and fifth. It was the first movie I ever went to see over and over like that. I'm sure part of that was the timing - I was finally old enough that I had a driver's license and then shortly after, the freedom of college (although no car there). I could do things like that that my parents would think was slightly odd. (I remember my mother being baffled later on by the way my sister and I could both recite all the lines from the first movie, and my sister is no science fiction fan. I don't think either one of my parents ever got Star Wars. Certainly not my mother, anyway.)

I do know when I saw the 2nd movie - that one was with Amy, and it was at the old Alabama Theater in Houston, and we had to stand in line for a couple of hours. And I saw Return of the Jedi in a very crowded theater in Austin - I have this vivid memory of standing in the concession line with my friends, for that one.

Oh, also, I think the fact that I had the album of the soundtrack is fairly important. I remember blasting it on the stereo in my dorm room often that year. I think I also bought the one for The Empire Strikes back when it came out. I never really got to the degree of fandom that involved buying the series of novels, later, though. I don't know why, but I never got interested in those.

This is all by way of saying that I am a Star Wars fan, going all the way back to the beginning - but not an utterly fanatical one. I know the basic canon. I don't know the names of every single minor character or every planet that's ever been mentioned, like some people do.

-----------------------------------------------

Well, the people who came up with this MMO were the fanatics, I'm pretty sure. It was all done in association with LucasArts and it's utterly faithful to canon, as far as I can tell. All the familiar species are there, although I still couldn't tell you the names of most of them. I suspect that if you ask me in a couple of months, I will know. Assuming we keep playing this, and that's a pretty sure bet, it's going to be like a total-immersion course in Star Wars lore.

This is why I said the soundtrack was important: because when you FINALLY get to play the game (after the usual hours of downloading and installing and then waiting in a queue to get in and then creating your character) the first thing that happens is that you see a screen, just like in the movies: "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..."

And then the main theme starts up. And I swear, I get chills every time. That's why I've been thinking so much about this, about my history with Star Wars and maybe I have more of a reaction to them because of that. I did actually watch the original three movies last weekend when they were on. (I wondered if the timing was not an accident, that they were showing them the same weekend as the SWTOR beta weekend.)

I have more to say about this, particularly about the game, but it will have to wait until later. It's past my bedtime.


Rift

Feb. 24th, 2011 02:22 am
mellificent: (buffy -bored now)
Probably nobody but [livejournal.com profile] columbina  is really interested, but I feel the need to yap about Rift, and I hate to spam my Twitter account about it any more than I've already done, so y'all get a dose of it instead. (Actually I counted 25+ posts about it over the past two weeks or so, which I suppose doesn't quite rise to the level of spamming. But it's bad enough.)

If you have no idea what I'm talking about and you want to, I'll direct you to Col's post on Rift because I don't really intend to go over all the basic stuff about the game. I suspect this post is going to be more about technical stuff, which is why I don't think most people will read too far.

The thing is, Head Start starts tomorrow. That means our previous characters from the beta are gone and we're starting over, and what we do this time we're more-or-less stuck with. (Knowing your characters are doing to be deleted is both freedom and frustration, because at least you're not stuck with your mistakes. On the other hand, if you're going to keep playing, you're going to be doing all these same quests over again next week.) What I did last time was, I made two characters on the Guardian side and two on the Defiant side (although one of those I didn't play much), one each in all of the four "callings" - which means the basic classes, Warrior, Mage, Cleric, and Rogue. So at least I've sort of tried everything. The one I didn't play much was the Cleric, but it wasn't so much that there was anything wrong with it, I just ran out of time, mostly. So I'll be giving it another try, at some point. (Also Col was playing a cleric, and so I didn't see any real point in making another cleric to play with him, it seemed more logical to play something else. And most of my non-Col playing time got taken up by my warrior, who I thought was especially fun to play, and then by my ranger/rogue. The poor druid cleric got shafted.)

So, I'm still trying to decide which characters are going to be on which side, and what builds I'm going to use, and stuff like that. (Am I going to give them the same names? that's another burning question. Mostly I'm thinking yes.)

More, more, more )(I need to go to bed at some point soon, I have a doctor's appointment in the morning So I guess it's time to shut up now.)
mellificent: (winter - snowflakes)
(Friday)
I just accidentally swallowed a cherry stone, and I'm having this totally irrational fear that a cherry tree is going to start growing out my ears. My grandmother - and possibly my mother, too - used to tell us an old wives' tale to that effect when we were kids. Although I think it was oranges, not cherries, at the time.

I've been doing Jade Quarry all night in GuildWars. I had never done it at all until about a week ago, because when I tried before there were never people available to fill up both sides to do it. (It's a sort of a hybrid PvP-mission kind of thing. You're playing against other players, but you also have an objective you have to do. In this case it's about keeping control of (guess what) jade quarries, and whoever gets a certain amount of jade back to their base first wins.) Columbine may be surprised to hear that I was doing this because we never used to do these missions. But I've been racking up the faction and I may get the Friend of the Luxons title this weekend if I keep it up.

(Saturday)
Rob asked me what I wanted for Christmas. Usually he gets me things like DVDs and sometimes a piece of jewelry, and I usually wrap up a couple of odds and ends I bought for myself, if I suspect I need it to balance things out. (I sort of try to make our gifts to one another match in size, if you know what I mean - I usually buy him a bunch of books and DVDs, and he tells me what to buy there, too. So I figure the expenditure should be more or less consistent for each of us, although I'm not stringent about it at all. In fact I don't really total it up at all except in the very roughest way. Some years my stuff costs a bit more, some years his does.) This year is a bit different, though, because of me not working, and while we're not out of money, we are definitely watching the purse-strings much more carefully now than we were. So when I thought of getting a Kindle I thought no, that's too expensive. Only it turns out that I have quite a large credit with Amazon, almost large enough to pay for the whole thing, if I get the Wi-Fi one. Although I'm thinking I might even go for the 3G one. The amount we'd have to pay in cash to get the 3G version would be roughly in the range of say, the MST3K box set I've got put away for Rob, anyway. Anybody have any opinion on this? If you do, speak up fast, I may be ordering something soon. (Too late, already, that ship has sailed. I got the 3G.) They say "In stock" but I don't entirely trust them. (Late word: I got an e-mail already that says that it has shipped, due in Wednesday.)

Poor Rob got called in to work today. That's been happening pretty regularly lately, at least sort of once a month or so. He went in and worked about 5 or 6 hours, but he told them that if the person who was missing doesn't come in tomorrow, they're going to have to find somebody else to cover then. Which I think is wise. We can use the OT, sure, but he needs a day off, too.


One of the things I've been reading, or re-reading (do you consider it re-reading if you listened to the audiobook the first time?) is A Game of Thrones, and I just stumbled onto replicas of the swords in the book, on Amazon. I guess I should not be surprised, but I am. Wonder if these were around before HBO announced the miniseries.

Anyway, here's Arya's sword Needle, for example. (I've started on the 2nd book but I'm not even far into it. So if you have anything to say about those books, be careful with spoilers, please! I would welcome non-spoilery discussion.)

Arya Stark's sword

Needle, Sword of Arya Stark. Licensed from George R.R. Martin
mellificent: (winter trees)
We are back to playing LOTRO again (Lord of the Rings Online, that is), since we finally exhausted the available quests in WoW. (Come to think of it, I need to go into WoW and cancel my monthly billing plan, before I forget again, or I'm going to keep getting charged $15 a month indefinitely!) While we were gone, they did a big update in LOTRO and changed a bunch of stuff. There's a new expansion, which is Mirkwood, but we're not likely to see it any time soon since it's a high-level area and we don't have any characters that high. Actually they raised the level cap, too, from 60 to 65. My highest character is 45, and actually we haven't even been playing the highest ones since we got back, we've been playing my "champion" (like a warrior), who is an elf, and Col's minstrel (LOTRO's version of a healer). I can't even remember for sure if Col's minstrel (who is named Loere) is an elf or a human - I think elf. Elves and humans look awfully much alike in LOTRO, except elves are a bit taller and have pointy ears which you can't see half the time anyway. I think they should have made them look a bit more different!

Anyway, those characters were around level 30 when we got back and have gone up several levels since then. Col has another character who he plays when I'm not around, who is one or another of the warrior-ish classes which I never can tell apart, and who is progressing even faster since I was gone for two whole days and Ceir got to play a lot while I was gone, apparently! Col and I both are given to more or less inventing our own names, if you're wondering where all these names come from. He has Loere and Noere and Ceir and Cleia - that one he's used in other games - aaaand one more that is escaping me right now. I have Anerulias the elf-warrior (who I usually just refer to as Ana) and Ceinnwyn the minstrel (she's human) and Zaina the hunter, who is a hobbit, and then I have two more I rarely play - Meleuriel, another elf, and Fineldir, a male human. I hardly ever do male characters and Col never does, but once in a while I do get the urge to try one out.

I usually just make up names by combining bits of things, like, well, Ceinnwyn is supposed to be from Rohan so she gets the "-wyn" suffix like Eowyn, and I think I just thought the "Cein" part sounded sort of generally Celtic. "Meleuriel" was because I usually have a character named Mel-something, and the '-riel" part is another bit of Tolkien-ish name. And so forth.

There are actually four races in LOTRO - elves, humans, hobbits and dwarves. Dwarves are male exclusively - I'm guessing that's because Tolkien was coy about what female dwarves look like. The joke that's in the Two Towers movie about female dwarves looking just like male ones, beards included, is straight out of canon, but it's in an appendix somewhere, as I recall, and it's just given as sort of a rumor - Tolkien just kinda says "nobody really knows." Which is kind of annoying, really, but what can you do. So anyway, Col won't try dwarves out at all, and I did try one once, but I never played mine and I finally deleted him after he stayed stuck at level 6 for a couple of months, because looking at him was annoying me, for whatever reason.

Another new thing that came in with the expansion was "starter horses" or what we refer to as "poky horses" because they're very very slow. But they're faster than walking and you can get them a lot earlier than you can get a regular (non-poky) horse, and they're not all that expensive, either, so I've been getting them for all my lower-level characters (which is all of them except Ceinnwyn, who is the level 45 one). Horses also have names, which they didn't have before - apparently starter horses default to being named Barley, and Zaina's starter pony was named Silver. (Ceinnwyn's horse had a different name which I can't recall at the moment, but it was something botanical.) I didn't think much of Barley as a name, so in a fit of silliness I changed Ana's horse's name to Malt, at least until I get a better idea.

(Interestingly, I actually had an Uncle Barley, although he died when I was little and I don't remember him too well. He was an uncle, or actually great-uncle, by marriage - he was married to my grandmother's sister Ethel. An awful lot of those old-fashioned names have been coming back into style, but I haven't heard of anybody naming their child Barley just yet!)
mellificent: (fall landscape)
Have I mentioned that Col and I are playing WoW again? Well, we are. We were trying to finish Northrend before our memberships expired, but I don't think we're quite going to make it. I'm enjoying it enough that I volunteered to pay for another month, though. That should be plenty of time, near as I can tell. We're most of the way finished with Scolazar Basin (I don't think that's spelled right, but you get the idea) and we've already finished Zul'Drak, so all that's left is Storm Peaks and Icecrown. We are level 80 (woot!) and we both have Explorer titles and I even sprung for a fast mount (4000g for the training. Whew.). Then we're going back to LOTRO when that's finished.

I am about to take my midterm in the coding class. I should be studying right now, actually.

There are a whoppin' 5 items in the Etsy store now. (A couple more may be coming sometime tomorrow.)

Rob's movie report: He went to see The Fourth Kind this afternoon, the alien-abduction movie. He seemed to like it, although he didn't really have a whole lot to say about it. (He did make some comment about whether the "documentary" part of it was fake, at which I tried not to roll my eyes too obviously. Which could be why he didn't say much more about it.)

Oh, we are overloaded with invitations for Thanksgiving - my aunt, my sister, and my dad have all invited us. Daddy was third so he's getting left out, but we are going to try to make two stops on Thanksgiving Day and go to both Bryan and Austin. That should be doable. My sister has another significant other that she thinks is serious - more so than the last one, I hope! - and she's all anxious for us to meet him. Should be interesting.
mellificent: (Halloween - corpse bride)
Go to http://quilts.org/winners.html and scroll down to about the 4th row and look at the Tolkien quilt. (You can click on it to make it larger.)

I managed to lose an entry, which is not especially easy to do - the one and only way I know of to do it nowadays, actually, is to leave the "post an entry" page open when you close Firefox and then don't tell it to restore from saved draft when you open Firefox again. In which case it saves the blank screen over your previous draft, creating a "saved draft" with nothing in it. And I hate to tell you how many times I have done just that. I suppose you could solve that problem by not having Firefox restore your previous pages, but that creates its own problems, at least for me.

I keep thinking that I need to make a regular feature called Rob's Movie Report, because I'm always telling you about the movies Rob went to see and I didn't (usually horror movies, of course). But anyway, Rob has been to see Paranormal Activity twice, which is very unusual for him. So I think that's a pretty high recommendation. He reports that it is actually scary, which - well, I can't even tell you the last time he's said that. He does not scare easily, let's just say.

I am slogging along in coding. I hate to say this but it's mostly very boring - right now we are studying the Outpatient Prospective Payment System, which is how Medicare pays hospitals for outpatient services. I'm hoping it will get more interesting when we get back to the actual coding.


My bright shiny distraction o'the moment is that I have decided to sell some of my jewelry on Etsy between now and Christmas. I have yet to actually even put anything up for sale, but I have been occupied with setting up the store and writing on my previously-abandoned jewelry blog in the hopes that it will help me get some customers, eventually. (Also, it gives me a place to just natter about jewelry endlessly, which I am oddly fond of doing. As some of you may have noticed.) I have been all happy today because I got my skull necklace onto a round-up of Halloween crafts called Terrorific Tuesday, which is bound to be a good thing, even though the skull necklace is not and is not likely to ever be for sale (unless I make another one). But hey, visibility!

More jewelry stuff, and WoW news )
mellificent: (umbrellas - paper)
Good lord, I thought by the time I got up this afternoon maybe the Michael Jackson frenzy would've died down a little bit. I guess that was wishful thinking. However, there are some people writing some good words that pay tribute to the good stuff about the man without losing sight of the bad. [livejournal.com profile] cleolinda 's is good, and [livejournal.com profile] ursulahitler 's is better. (And that video Ursula posted is unbelievable. You can totally see the adult Michael there in the little kid.)

Rob said they have been talking some about Farrah Fawcett, too, although she mostly got eclipsed by the Michael juggernaut. (I'm sure most of you reading this are aware that his death broke Livejournal. Or rather, the whole world trying to log onto [info]  did, or so I hear.) I'm older than a good many people on LJ and a lot of people remember him differently than I do - that is, they were kids when Thriller came out. I was in my early 20s and living in Austin. We liked to mock Thriller and its zillions of album sales, that's mostly what I remember. I know MJ has a lot of cultural significance as far as having been the first black artist to have that kind of success, but to me he was this guy who was always around from the time I was 10 or 11 (and who happened to be about my age), and who made some good music, but wasn't really somebody who affected me that much. Farrah Fawcett - or Fawcett-Majors, as she was when she first turned up in my teen years - was not terribly significant to me personally, either, but I came to reluctantly admire her as she hung in there after her big fame had waned.

I'm mostly just rambling because I can't get onto LOTRO and I'm unhappy about that. Columbine was off today and we were planning to start playing early, but it's down. It's been buggy since the big update earlier this week and I imagine they're trying to fix that. (They were supposed to be fixing it this morning and be back by now, but obviously things did not go as planned.)
mellificent: (WoW - rampage)
Grr, LOTRO is downloading some update that I can't use yet anyway (the Scourge? what's up with people and their scourges lately?) and it's taking for-fucking-ever. It's at 31% and it's been going for a while already. Actually it's not downloading now, it's "updating game data" - whatever that means exactly. I'll be able to start playing around 8:00, at this rate. Grr.


Hmm, maybe I'll look for LOTRO icons while I wait. Even if I am mad at them. (Or I could go play WoW for a bit, which is tempting.)
mellificent: (lotus)
Anybody who is a Tolkien geek at all should go play LOTRO for a while. Seriously, just make a hobbit and run around the Shire and geek away. It has been a pleasure to me just to get the map of the Shire straight in my head. My copy of Fellowship of the Ring has gone AWOL (it's here someplace, I had it a month or so ago) so I can't verify exactly how accurate it is, but it all tallies with what I remember. The only thing not "canon" is that they've shrunk the distances quite a bit, presumably because if they were accurate nobody would want to play. MMOs get too frustrating if the monsters you have to kill (or, in the case of the Shire, the pies you have to carry to Holly Hornblower) are miles away from you. So the twenty miles from Buckleberry Ferry to Brandywine Bridge becomes about 500 feet. Which I can't say bothers me a great deal. It's just so fun to see all the minor characters: Farmer Maggot in front of his farm, with Grip and Fang (Fang is always asleep). Gaffer Gamgee, and Lobelia, and Shirriff Robin Smallburrow holding down the bar at the pub. And the pubs! The Green Dragon, the Golden Perch in Stock - that's the one Frodo wouldn't let them go to, to Pippin's dismay - and if you get to Bree (which isn't difficult) there's the Prancing Pony, too, complete with Butterbur, and Strider lurking in a back room. (The foursome of Frodo, Pippin, Merry and Sam has not been seen so far - although I hear rumors we may catch up with them later. I think at the point we're currently at in the story, they're still lost in the forest.) If you haven't figured this out already, I seriously recommend it. Go get a free 10-day trial and take a tour. (I'm really not trying to get you to come play with us or anything, I just think more people should see this thing.)

And a note to [livejournal.com profile] columbina : the game is all downloaded and installed on the laptop and seems to be working fine, so I should be able to play tonight with or without the recalcitrant monitor. Which is good because I may not make it to Best Buy this afternoon. I am about to go take a long nap.

Profile

mellificent: (Default)
mellificent

December 2012

S M T W T F S
       1
2 3 4 5 67 8
9 10 11 1213 14 15
16 1718 19 20 2122
23242526272829
3031     

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 24th, 2017 03:19 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios