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8

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So, this is it. The final challenge set by Ambermist of Taste's Like Battlechicken. This week she tasked us with finding 3 blogs that participated in the New Blogger's Initiative, aka the NBI, and give at least one reason we like each blog. Sounds easy right? Well, that is what I thought at first too. Then I realized that no matter how awesome the three blogs I end up choosing are, I will still feel bad about it. There are just  too many awesome blogs that are participating on it for me to just pick three!

In fact, let me point out to a list of the blogs participating on the NBI. There is one list here, categorized by topics, made by Windsoar of the Jaded Alt blog. If you prefer a handy list with each author's name and tweeter, Shadowspnd of World's End Tavern made one for newbies and one for sponsors. Check out the rest of their blogs too while you are there! 🙂

Alright. With that said, let me introduce you to three newbie blogs that have caught my eye for a reason or another:

The Butterfly Gamer

http://leelubutterfly.wordpress.com/

Everyone probably met that one person that can't stick to a game for very long. Perhaps that might even be your case (it is certainly mine!). Apparently the term for these kind of people is "butterfly gamer". And as the name of the blog implies, The Butterfly Gamer is the journal of one such person.

Right now, leelubutterfly is trying to stick to just one, to get to the level cap on Aion before Guild Wars 2 is released. It is interesting not only because of her writing (and screenshots!) but also to see her discover new and interesting things about Aion as she goes along. As someone that just started out in Aion it is interesting to see the experiences of another newbie in the game.

Of course, I am also interested to see what other games she will end up playing too. I guess that makes me a butterfly reader?

Ravalation

http://ravalation.blogspot.com

If I had to describe Ravalation in a few words it would be "a feast to the eyes". Not only her posts are filled with beautiful screenshots (some times with her own drawings too!) but it is all accompanied with very interesting text too. It is like a combo of pure bliss!

Right now Ravanel is writing about Lord of the Rings Online, Mass Effect and Star Wars: The Old Republic. I highly recommend her blog to anyone interested in any of those games. 🙂

Kemwer Game Blog

http://kemwer.com.br/

While I do have a preference for blogs about people's personal experiences playing games, I do also like a good discussion about them. Kemwer has been one of those blogs I have been finding myself reading just for that purpose. No matter the topic of the post it is always with a very intelligent and well articulated argument.

His blog (correct me if I am wrong, please, Kemwer!) seems to have a slant towards Guild Wars 2 right now. Though he certainly doesn't limit himself to just Guild Wars 2 and has made a few posts about Diablo 3, Torchlight 2 and even some more general discussions about MMORPGs.

Wait! There is more...

Ok. So I can't pick just three after all. Let me list three more blogs before ending this post. But to keep with the spirit of the challenge, in some sort of twisted way, I will just list them and let you find out by yourself what makes them great! It probably won't be too hard. 🙂

They are also blogs that are participating on the NBI although as sponsors. Without further ado, here are three more great blogs that just make my day whenever they update:

Nerdy Bookahs - http://nerdybookahs.wordpress.com/

StarShadow - http://suzitastarshadow.wordpress.com/

LotRO Fashion - http://lotrofashion.blogspot.com/

My biggest thanks to all the ones I have listed, and for those I could not, for all the entertaining reading so far. Here is looking forward to  reading even more posts! 🙂

10

Alright. So this is week 4 of Ambermist's challenges. This one is a tough one too. She basically asked us to go out, learn something and then make a post about it. Since I am really getting into Lord of the Rings Online now it makes sense to do some research of it. The drawback is.... I am just starting in Lord of the Rings Online which means lots and lots of things too research. Too much to research in  a week or do a single post about it. So I am doing the obvious thing and just narrowing down it to one specific topic: Lua Plugins!

The following is the result of my research. If there is someone more knowledgeable who sees something incorrect, please post about it in the comments and I will fix it.

Lua Plugins? What is that?

If you ever played World of Warcraft you probably heard of AddOns. Might even have an avid user of them. Lua Plugins are the same thing except for Lord of the Rings Online.

...continue reading "[LotRO] Lua Plugins and you!"

4

Or so I usually say. In practice there is always a character I end up playing more than the others or who earned a special place in my heart. So, on this week's challenge, posed by the lovely Ambermist of "Tastes Like Battle Chicken", it is exactly to talk about those characters. Which I will do with the utmost joy. Because characters are like our own children. Give us an excuse to talk about them and we'll do it all day! In my case it will be two of the characters that have a very special place in my heart. They are probably the ones I spent the most time playing on and growing with during my MMORPG career. If you can call playing MMORPGs for years a career that is. Also, I apologize for the lack of screenshots. This is a post that screams "Fill me up with screenshots!" but I found out I have no good screenshots of Rakuno to post. Alas, I find myself still having to do my little EQ2 protest so I can't even log in to take a decent screenshot of my beloved character. Anyhoo, in order of creation here are my "mains":

Or so I usually say. In practice there is always a character I end up playing more than the others or who earned a special place in my heart.

So, on this week's challenge, posed by the lovely Ambermist of "Tastes Like Battle Chicken", it is exactly to talk about those characters. Which I will do with the utmost joy. Because characters are like our own children. Give us an excuse to talk about them and we'll do it all day!

In my case it will be two of the characters that have a very special place in my heart. They are probably the ones I spent the most time playing on and growing with during my MMORPG career. If you can call playing MMORPGs for years a career that is.

Also, I apologize for the lack of screenshots. This is a post that screams "Fill me up with screenshots!" but I found out I have no good screenshots of Rakuno to post. Alas, I find myself still having to do my little EQ2 protest so I can't even log in to take a decent screenshot of my beloved character.

Anyhoo, in order of creation here are my "mains":

...continue reading "Alts? I have no alts! All my characters are my main!"

6

So, this week Ambermist over at Tastes Like Battle Chicken gave us a new challenge. It is the "Why do you do what you do?" which is basically to answer with a picture... uh.... why do you what you do! She was nice enough to give us the option to answer it with text too. You know, just in case there is someone graphic challenged. *coughs*likeme*coughs*

My original intent was to actually answer it with a picture. I suck at anything graphical however. Even stick figures. So as the week went by I realized I had less and less time to try making even a decent picture for this challenge. Time for plan B then which is to write it!

With that said, this is my answer to Ambermist's challenge!

Boldly going where no man has gone before...

... except for those who were already subscribed or were the developers. *clears throat*

Anyway, that phrase sums up one of the things I love about MMORPGs, the feeling of getting into a completely new world, with its own history, its own conflicts, nations, rules, etc. The more open the world in terms of exploring and strong lore, the more I like it. Ok. Perhaps not completely open. Some guidance is always nice so we are not totally lost wondering how things work. I guess my version of a good open world would be open enough so you can go off exploring on your own, being rewarded with finding spots for cool stuff like spots to harvest a crafting material or some neat lore detail. A bad world implementation would be one where you feel you are just going from point A to B doing a laundry list for some soulless NPC.

...continue reading "Why You Do What You Do: Week 2 Challenge"

2

The following is my answer to "Build Your Own Boss" challenge. It was started by AmberMist of "Tastes Like Battle Chicken". It isn't made for any game in specific. Any generic fantasy game will do. It is also meant as a parody of some of the things way too common to fantasy in general. Basically this is what happens when you mix: 1) A developer who can at best write some really atrocious fanfiction with a Mary Sue as the main character. 2) A marketing team trying to tap in the latest fad while simultaneously trying to create a new one (even if it is just like the old one!) Born from the combined dark forces of those two  is the following monstrosity...

The following is my answer to "Build Your Own Boss" challenge. It was started by AmberMist of "Tastes Like Battle Chicken".

It isn't made for any game in specific. Any generic fantasy game will do. It is also meant as a parody of some of the things way too common to fantasy in general. Basically this is what happens when you mix:

1) A developer who can at best write some really atrocious fanfiction with a Mary Sue as the main character.

2) A marketing team trying to tap in the latest fad while simultaneously trying to create a new one (even if it is just like the old one!)

Born from the combined dark forces of those two  is the following monstrosity...

...continue reading "Build Your Own Boss Challenge: Shelotunithu the Undead God"

Over at Massively, Justin "Syp" Olivetti wrote a pretty funny "Perfect 10" column taking a look at the top 10 epitaphs you can find at one of the Guild Wars 2 cemetery.

I didn't hang out long enough in the human area during this beta weekend to see that cemetery but this is definitely something to check out during the next beta. 🙂

Still from Massively, come the news that Bethesda confirmed the existence of a Elder Scrolls MMORPG. Apparently it will feature three-faction PvP.

I have mixed feelings about this. One one hand I love the Elder Scrolls series starting from Morrowind. But PvP is not something I like. Although I guess it wouldn't make sense for a Elder Scrolls games without it. Separating people into factions is something that I am not much a fan of either. The reason for the latter is that I am still bitter about it from my times in World of Warcraft. Back then I wanted to play with any of the Horde Races. But my friends wanted to play alliance.... So guess which side I end up playing on. :p

In any case there is still pretty much no detail besides that. So we'll have to see how it goes. Hopefully I am already worrying for nothing. I also hope this doesn't mean they will stop making single player games in the Elder Scrolls universe. It seems pretty unlikely right now but who knows.

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This post is part of the New Bloggers Initiative. You can find an introduction post about it here.

This will be a little mix of my reasons for starting this blog as well as advice. Also, keep in mind this will be from the point of view from someone writing a MMORPG blog. So it might not be as useful for other hobbies or subjects...

Anyhoo.... I always liked to write. So when I was a teenager and blogging was the new cool thing, it seemed natural for me to start one. My first blog was a personal one where I would write anything that I felt strongly enough to write about. Eventually I started to run out of things to say, as incredible as it may sound, and the blog end up turning into nothing but posts about quizzes. That one was written in my native language, portuguese, and in any case it is best to left buried in the sands of the internet.

My second blog was an attempt to use blogging, together with roleplaying, to rekindle my passion for Lineage 2. By then I was already pretty much burnt out of Lineage 2 so it didn't work out. I end up leaving the game shortly after, abandoning the blog at about 8 posts.... For the internet archeologists or brave of heart, you can still find it here.  That one was my first blog written in english too.

...continue reading "Choosing the subject of your MMORPG blog"

3

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Syp over at Bio Break started a very cool event for bloggers this month. It is the Newbie Blogger Initiative!

Basically the idea is for veteran bloggers to help out and stimulate new people to begin blogging. This will happen during all of the month of May with sponsoring blogs writing posts with advice and other tips to help newcomers to the blogosphere. Currently it has over 70+ blogs already participating and if you want to join in the fun too, please head to the forum Syp setup for the event. You can find it here. If you are a newbie just starting out or thinking about it, join the forums too as there is a section just dedicated to answering questions and to add your blog to the list of new ones.

At the end of the month there will be a compilation of links to all the advice as well as for the new blogs that were created during this month. For the more impatient ones you can check a list of the blogs participating on this thread.

Personally, I am a little terrified of joining in as this blog is still a baby (not even one year old!) even for internet standards. That and it feels kinda like being in the middle of giants. Still I decided to join in because I love writing and this seems like a good challenge to exercise the writing muscles. I also love reading other people's blogs so this might be also a good opportunity to get to know more interesting blogs be they written by veterans or by anyone just starting out now. 🙂

Here is looking forward to the rest of the month and hopefully many new bloggers to share their passions with us through their writing! 😀

There has been some gaming news that got my attention in the last few days. Since I don't think everybody here is as neurotic as I am in keeping up with these kind of news I thought it might be interesting to point out to a few of them.

First of, the Kelethin City Festival has started over in Everquest 2. That by itself wouldn't be that interesting considering that City Festivals happen every month. Except that with this we are finally getting Building Blocks themed after the city festival in question. What are Building Blocks? They are exactly what it sounds like, cubes, boards and circles (it looks more like an octagon) that decorators can use to build stuff with and save some much needed item count. It should be appearing on Station Cash too after the festival is over for those who would prefer alternatives to acquire them. Crafted building blocks should be coming with the next Game Update which is scheduled to March if I recall corectly. I just wish there were some triangles in there.... But hey, this is already pretty good considering how long the decorator community has been asking for it and how simple they are, model-wise.

Also, a reminder that the "A Goddess Risen" world event will be ending on February 6th. If you didn't do it yet you might want to do it now. It is a very short, easy, quest line that will probably appeal to fans of EQ2 lore. It also gives a cool house item, an unique bow and a shield, both that can also be turned into house items.

A few days ago, Good Old Games started selling Thief Gold. For those who don't know it, it is a classic game which brought a lot of innovations to the FPS genre back in the day. Basically you play a thief (yes, big surprise there) and your mission throughout the levels is to break into places, avoid being detected by guards and steal as much as you can. Nowadays this doesn't seem like a big deal but back in the days this blew people's mind. Although the GoG team did an amazing job to get it to run on modern machines it still runs on the monitor resolutions and aspects of its days. Rock, Paper, Shotgun found ways to fix it though so it runs with more modern resolutions and aspect ratios. You can find that fix here.

I admit I didn't really play Thief besides the first level back in the days. Back then I just saw it as another FPS game, a genre which I despised. Granted it did have a neat premise and gameplay but my hatred for FPS blinded me to its awesomeness. Plus in those days it looked like every frigging game in the future would be a FPS so I was trying to spend whatever time I got in what I believed would be the last non-FPS games ever made. All I can say now is that hindsight is a pain. Anyway, I do intent to rectify that mistake once I get some more time and money.

Speaking of classic games, a while ago there were news that Firaxis would be making their own remake of X-Com. A remake that would be an actual strategy game. Like the original game was. Who woulda think, huh? :p

Anyway, leaving the sarcasm behind, the fine folks at Rock, Paper, Shotgun strike again and they did an interesting interview with Jake Solomon, lead designer of Firaxis' X-Com remake. It will be in 3 parts and you can find part 1 here. Topics covered are how long the development took so far, the challenges of remaking a game that is, rightfully so, considered a sacred cow to many players and other topics. It is a pretty interesting read for anyone who is looking forward on how that one turns out.

Myself I am cautiously excited about it. Firaxis already proved themselves that they can make a damn good job of reinventing a good game and still making it feel right with Civilization V. So they will probably do another fine job with their version of X-Com.

Hm. That should be all for now. Back to your regularly (non-)scheduled ramblings!

This is a topic that I've been thinking for a long time if I should tackle or not here.... Honestly, it is mostly due to a fear of embarrassment. Yet I get this urges to ramble about some of the tokusatsu series I've been watching or  watched from time to time. And although there are good forums specifically to discuss it I've been feeling to self-conscious to join them. I've finally decided to at least make this post about it though. After all there are far worse things to be ashamed of and tokusatsu is certainly not a bad thing. Plus writing it on my blog means I can write giant blocks of text without feeling guilty! Mwahahaha! *clears throat* Anyway, putting the melodramatic aside, perhaps an explanation of what  this tokusatsu things is might be in order. To put it in simple terms tokusatsu is a live action show with super-hero like types aimed at children. Think Power Rangers and you are not too far off. In fact Power Rangers is not only based, but also use costumes and concepts, from one of the oldest tokusatsu franchises, the Super Sentai. It is much more broad than the team of super-heroes fighting the monster of the week though. For instance, Ultraman and Godzilla also fall under the tokusatsu genre. Even though it is aimed at children they usually have themes that can be appreciated by adults too with some even having plots more complex that you would expect in a children's show. There are also a few tokusatsu shows that have been trying to aim at an adult audiences too with some relative success. Garo is probably the poster child for this type of tokusatsu. Ok. Definitions out of the way, let me ramble on about how I got into tokusatsu, rediscovered it and why I love the genre.

This is a topic that I've been thinking for a long time if I should tackle or not here.... Honestly, it is mostly due to a fear of embarrassment. Yet I get this urges to ramble about some of the tokusatsu series I've been watching or  watched from time to time. And although there are good forums specifically to discuss it I've been feeling to self-conscious to join them. I've finally decided to at least make this post about it though. After all there are far worse things to be ashamed of and tokusatsu is certainly not a bad thing. Plus writing it on my blog means I can write giant blocks of text without feeling guilty! Mwahahaha!

*clears throat* Anyway, putting the melodramatic aside, perhaps an explanation of what  this tokusatsu things is might be in order. To put it in simple terms tokusatsu is a live action show with super-hero like types aimed at children. Think Power Rangers and you are not too far off. In fact Power Rangers is not only based, but also use costumes and concepts, from one of the oldest tokusatsu franchises, the Super Sentai. It is much more broad than the team of super-heroes fighting the monster of the week though. For instance, Ultraman and Godzilla also fall under the tokusatsu genre.

Even though it is aimed at children they usually have themes that can be appreciated by adults too with some even having plots more complex that you would expect in a children's show. There are also a few tokusatsu shows that have been trying to aim at an adult audiences too with some relative success. Garo is probably the poster child for this type of tokusatsu.

Ok. Definitions out of the way, let me ramble on about how I got into tokusatsu, rediscovered it and why I love the genre.

...continue reading "Tokusatsu and me"