Hobnanigans – Too Frustrating to be Fun

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All my little hobbit wanted was a pretty Black-footed Chicken for a pet. How shiny and beautiful its black plumage is! The lovely little chook would make such a nice wandering companion that I obliged her little hobbit wishes and took her to the Hobnanigans field. What we were met with was not quite as fun of an event  as we were both hoping for.

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New Addiction – Star Wars: The Old Republic

This Easter weekend, SWTOR was having a free trial weekend. Since Nav and all our friends had a 4 day weekend, we decided to all try it out. And by the end of the weekend we had all bought it.

I really don’t think I would have gotten so addicted without friends to play with. It’s a pretty good game, but not great or anything. Xhii from Roll One Hundred expresses similar sentiments. It’s a pretty new game, so I give it the benefit of the doubt for the most part. But as she says, it is definitely lacking some basic things. Hopefully with time they will get added.

I was the only one in our group to want to go Jedi I guess so we went Sith instead. Luckily with the way quests work, you can be a ‘good’ person despite being on the Sith side. Quests in SWTOR don’t work the same way they do in LOTRO or other MMOs I suppose. In SWTOR, every quest pick up and hand-in comes with a cutscene of dialogue between you and the quest giver. You can choose between a few kind of replies to give to the various things the questgivers say. You can be rude, you can be kind, you can be whatever. You really can shape the personality of your character more than just “do this quest” or “don’t do this quest”.

SWTOR Cithryth exists on the Asia/Pacific PvP server (there’s only one… so whatever that server is called, that’s where I am). She’s an Imperial Agent, which I guess I would describe as a cross between a LOTRO burglar and a witch-hunter from Warhammer Online. At level 10 you choose one of two ‘advanced class’ paths. I chose to go sniper – so more long-range damage type stuff. So far I’m only level 17 but it’s been real fun so far.

In case anyone is wondering, this is what the UI looks like. There’s no way to re-arrange stuff at the moment, but apparently the patch that is coming out this week (supposedly), 1.2, will allow you to rearrange UI elements. Yay!

You also get various ‘companions’ – basically like skirmish soldiers or pets in LOTRO. They can follow you around and help you fight, sell stuff for you and even do crafting quests. As an Imperial Agent, I don’t really like my first companion, Kaliyo. She’s creepy.

Outfits or Screenshots?

There’s an interesting debate going on in the Fashion Contest Fan Favorite Voting Discussion thread at the official forums and I just felt like I had to comment on it.

Basically the debate is whether people should be voting for the screenshot (the pose, outfit, setting, etc) or just base their votes on the outfit.

Here are some key points from different users who argue that the whole screenshot is important. Fleurlis saysFor example even though your outfit may be wonderful and unique if you take a screenie of it in a barren area where there is not much going on and nothing to really express the theme you are trying to produce then it takes away from the experience of a themed outfit in action for the role it was made for. Bucaneve says “Some outfits are indeed thought of with that purpose in mind, so it would take away from them not to consider how well they blend in with what’s around them.”

Regarding the idea that the outfit is important it seems that many people are focused on the wording that this is a Fashion contest, and not a screenshot contest (which they have had many of those before). And as far as other Fashion contests go, Valkrist points out that in past Fashion contests there was specific wording regarding taking your screenshot as ‘action shots’ or in certain types of setting, and that kind of wording is absent in this contest. Marguerita also says “I just have some difficulty with some screenshots, because it is not the outfit that is the center piece, but the area around and this contest was more about fashion. But this does not remove any beauty to their outfit.”

Now in my opinion, I think the main focus of the contest (seeing as it is a Fashion contest, not a Screenshot contest) should definitely be on the outfits. But at the same time, no mistake should be made that setting and composition are not important. If you are submitting your outfit to a contest where you know tons of others will be submitting as well, always try and take the best possible screenshot that you can. This includes the lighting on your character, the colors in the background, the theme of the background and how those three things work with or against your outfit.

Using examples from the Fan Favorite Polling selection, I think that Screenshot #1 does a very good job of matching the outfit to a setting.

And I think the outfit in Screenshot #5 is really awesome looking… however since the character is just standing in the Bree Homesteads, it makes it less epic than if she were standing, for example in Mirkwood or Moria, places where a lore-master with a covered face and an epic battle-cat would make sense.

Fashion Contest Rejects

I told my self to stay away from the Fashion Contest, but I couldn’t help myself. I just spent the past few hours making two outfits for each category besides the kinship one 😛 I’m not going to the screenshots that I sent in (I don’t want anyone to copy me lol). But here are two entries that didn’t make my cut for sending in. Unfortunately they are both Sagewood. Not to say that Sagewood’s outfits are my least favorite, I just feel like they weren’t as strong of entries as their competition.

For the Formal wear category, I used an outfit on Cithryth and an outfit on Strumskald. For the Professionally Minded category I submitted an outfit on Cithryth and an outfit on Herefara. For the Fashion in Motion category I used Sriracha and Miniature. Hopefully I get a win in one category (or maybe an honourable mention? lol). We’ll see!

Sagewood enters Eregion – with outfits!

Later this week I’ll be making a post about the things I’ve gotten for Christmas (Some of which are Lord of the Rings related of course), but I wanted to make a post about LOTRO specifically because I’ve been playing it a lot this week since my winter break started. I got 3200 TP as a Christmas gift, which I used to buy the new Fleet-Footed Goat for Cithryth. I think it matches her outfits quite well, just like the Grey Horse.

I’ve also managed to snag a pretty cool light armour chest piece from the auction house. I believe it comes from one of the new instances, but I’m not sure. All I know is, I love it for Sagewood, and Herefara:

I’ve been mostly playing Sagewood since I’ve been home. I’ve always loved the hunter class. My first character (created exactly 4 years ago today!) was actually a male elf named Liras on the Brandywine server. I then ‘lost’ him because I switched to Windfola (LOTRO was my first MMO and I didn’t understand the concept of different servers. I also had a hard time reconciling the fact that I couldn’t pause or ‘save’ the game).

I’ve just hit 48 on Sagewood and finished up about half the quests out of Zigilgund in Forochel. I decided to move her on to Eregion since it is easily my favorite region to quest in. The flow from hub to hub is very nicely done, the quests are pleasant (a nice mix of kill x of y, gathering, and mini-boss slaying), and the scenery is gorgeous as well as easy to maneuver through. I’ve taken a few screenshots of Sagewood in her newest outfit while questing around Gwingris:

I’ve also been working on her repertoire of outfits and I think I’ve finally got a set I like. Here they are, labeled for what I plan to use them for:

We’ll see how long they last. Knowing how often I like to switch around outfits, I give it a month.

Tis the Season

… To want to do nothing but sit inside and read and play video games. But alas, I still have two papers to write, a video production to film and a French test to sit. Ah well. I thought now might be a good time to share the random things I’ve been doing across my games. Minecraft, LOTRO and Skyrim have all gotten some use recently.

Since this is a pretty image heavy post, I’m going to put most of this into the “Read more”, so read more!

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Texture Pack Review: LB Photo Realism

Just like with LOTRO and UI skins, I am loving Minecraft texture packs. There seems to be a pack for any kind of theme you could want. I have a variety currently installed so that I can use different packs for different worlds or projects. My newest project is a modernist style house, and so I really wanted a modern themed texture pack to match. I decided on the LB Photo Realism pack by scuttles. It’s an HD pack that is available in a couple of resolutions. I decided to go all the way and use the 256×256 version.

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Pictures of Brevity

I have been playing Minecraft for a week and two days, and I am in love. I had actually put off playing Minecraft for a long time because I dismissed it the way I think people usually do: “What’s the point? What’s the objective? There is none? Psh”. But now I see that that is the beauty of it. I can do whatever I want. So I have been for the past week and two days.

Here is the main world I’ve been working on lately. It’s not my first world. Like in MMOs, my first character/world is kind of my “OMG what is going on here” kind of character that I use to figure the game mechanics with. Brevity is my second world and I have been steadily working on it for a few days now. The only mod I’ve used with it thus far is WildGrass.

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The Road Less Traveled: Part 1 – A Trip Through the Brandywood

Anabel Sagewood had just eaten a meager breakfast of cheese and bread. She stood by her fireplace smoking some Roper’s Twist pipeweed while she awaited the foredawn. Today she was going on a trip that she had been looking forward to for sometime. She only hoped that no one would try to rope her into a job or a quest while she traveled through Bree.

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