Elf In Real Life ~ Epitaph

I haven’t played any games in a few weeks. Over the weekend, I managed to complete a new piece of art, one I’ve wanted to do for a long time. The image below is my Elf Rune-Keeper and Elf Warden from my two LotRO accounts. I might still be playing LotRO if I could transfer my level 85 Warden over to my main account. As it stands, I’ve uninstalled.

So, an epitaph. I tried to get across the impression of Lothlorien. I didn’t want to go crazy on this picture.

Otherwise, I’m back to the novels. I’m trying to finish my fourth novel, setting up to publish all four in the series at once. Basically, ISBN numbers are expensive, so you have to buy them and use them in a bundle. The last I checked, Apple won’t publish proper fiction in its “ecosystem” (not an Apple fan) without a proper ISBN number.

After that, back to the website and my video game project. The fall term is ending (with the kitty hissing and spitting at Dreamweaver), so I’ll have a bit more time on the weekends. Gosh, the snow effect falling on my WordPress blog looks beautiful on that picture. *sniff*

Lesbian Elves Elf LotRO Rune-Keeper Warden


Weekly Wyrm Nov. 5, 2014 ~ The Topping Tail

topping tailIn candlestick stock charting, there is a formation called the topping tail. It happens at the top of a chart and marks where the stock makes a final crescendo of buying, which then exhausts itself, and the stock goes downhill from there.

That might sum up where I’m at in Rift. Goboro Reef was the most enjoyable MMO zone I’ve played since Moria. It was a great story with fascinating and funky writing and some bells and whistles sprinkled in: mermaid songs and a lost enclave of Eth, which is the most interesting of Rift’s races. I thoroughly enjoyed this zone.

It gets everything right.

After Goboro, the Rift expansion falls back into the Storm Legion organizational chaos, although it’s kicked up a notch in quality. I would bet Draumheim was written by a completely different writer. In this kitty’s opinion, whoever was responsible for Goboro should oversee and have goddess-like powers over all future story zones made for Rift.

This writer is brilliant. She uses sentence fragments, which I’m not thrilled about. She also uses the word “evil” in two or three dialogs to impress the player with the badness of the baddies, and I don’t agree with this either.

Still. It’s all about the characters and creative writing. At the moment, Rift seems to have made the same questionable decision as LotRO and abandoned the best-written character in the entire game (Arethea) after developing her so well. I hope not. I hope Arethea will show up again.

I also hoped for Nona in LotRO, and we saw how that turned out. I’m on hiatus from Rift at the moment.


Blizzard-Activision = Win


A few weeks ago, I called a stock pick in Blizzard. I said that Blizzard’s stock was undervaluing the strong post-launch performance of Destiny based on what I’ve seen on the street, and I was betting that the earnings would surprise. That’s exactly what happened last night, and now I’m out. I just don’t want to be holding Blizzard.

A lot of big name game makers had very strong earnings this last quarter, by the way. This includes Take Two, EA, and Sony. This is good for games. I saw an interview with the Take Two CEO and he didn’t seem like the sort of horrible caveman that would champion the GTA games. This kitty suspects that looks can be deceiving when it comes to a corporate CEO.

If I were catwoman, I’d investigate.


Saint’s Row 4


I finally got this on a Steam sale last weekend thanks to a tip from Yolari. I paid like $10 for an Ultimate Pack (or something), and now I feel guilty. I wanted to pay more. I just didn’t want to pay lots and lots more.

On the other hand, I would have paid full price a long time ago if the Saint’s Row franchise had stayed in the category of a quirky but still classy underworld story (like the Mafia franchise). So there’s that.


Wasteland 2


I really enjoyed this until near the end of the first real zone. It sort of turns into torture. I mean–in the very first level of the game, you’ve got poisons, incurable diseases, corpse explosions, traps, puzzles to solve with Google, locks you can’t pick, and waves and waves of enemies.

That’s good right? Only up to a point. I’ve heard a lot of players wash out in the first levels, and that was me. I don’t regret supporting this game, but save the torture for the later levels. I was worried I couldn’t cope with managing a party of seven, and that was also a factor.

Seven characters means seven monsters at a time, and you have to kill them one shot at a time, since micromanaging ammo is a real factor. That’s all. Happy gaming, and watch out for those topping tails.


Weekly Wyrm Oct. 26, 2014: Sex And Crime Edition

rift nightmare tide screenshot goboro reefA few notes before I get to Rift.

In my last post, I mentioned a sort-of sex scandal in an upcoming big-name RPG title. After a few days of reflection, I’ve decided I can’t name and discuss this developer or the possibilities for pushing the edge of RPG romance.

So I’ll only say that a female lead on the writing team in this RPG project is a professional erotica writer, a writer who I’ve worked with in the past. This was in an online writer’s group. She’s also a long-time supporter and former participant in National Masturbation Month, having tweeted about it as recently as this year.

(I took a pass. This kitty is too lazy to ooh-la-la every day.)

She’s completely open about her credentials–as an award-winning fiction writer and professional. Now she’s in the gaming industry, however. Given the current climate of #gamergate and the disgusting current climate of harassment of women in the gaming industry, this is cause for concern.

Felicia Day came out this last week in support of #gamergate commenting on her own experience of harassment, speaking candidly of her own fears and depression. Her Tumblr post has 44000 notes a few days later. To underscore the realness of this issue, Felicia immediately faced the consequences with her personal details being posted online.


Art, Crime, And Consequences


The other highlight of this week (besides the Rift expansion), was a tweet re: an Associated Press article about artistic defacement of rock formations, a story first reported by Casey Schreiner on modernhiker.com, leading to authorities getting involved.

Casey went on to write a followup article on why this is such an important issue.

I’m a big fan of Casey Schreiner from his former show “The MMO Report” on G4. I’m also a big fan of hiking, and it was cool to see him suddenly pop up in the national news, no longer citified and clean shaven–instead with a big bushy hiker guy beard.

My take on this issue is that it’s a symptom of American narcissism. Social media is like addictive candy for the need to be special and get attention.

So it’s ironic that social media is this graffiti artist’s downfall by providing the proof. It wasn’t enough for Nocket to just sneak away and leave her art in the park, content that lots of people would see it. She had to post it.

Whatever Nocket’s psychological needs are, they are too strong to overcome better judgment. And that’s sad. She’s a girl who needs help and better parenting like most criminals, but instead she’ll get a fine and/or a prison sentence.

If there’s a world capital of narcissism, it’s California, and as of yesterday, Nocket’s Tumblr blog is gone, only to be taken over by a California street art group looking for attention and promising copycat crimes.

You dudes are so badass! Spray painting rocks is so cool! Almost as cool as a few other dudes last week shooting up the Canadian parliament and attacking police with hatchets, but no. Not really.


Rift: First Impressions (Mostly Positive)


This week has been a mess. On Thursday I went to play, and there was a bad patch forcing everyone who updated at the wrong time to have to completely re-install the game. Fail. Trion compensated with 750 credits, which was generous.

On Friday, three shards destructed, and the Faeblight shard was the hardest hit with a 24+ hour rollback. People were not pleased. Luckily I was busy and didn’t play much until yesterday. I lost a bunch of artifacts I’d harvested.

On the other hand, last night I was doing an event (shown in the image above), where someone called a guild in with a rally flag, and we had at least two full raids on a road where it passed under a giant natural coral archway.

During the epic battle against the evil, the mermaids in the reef started singing. It was one of those memorable game moments! Wow!

The use of “evil” verbiage to give the impression of an enemy is actually one of my very few objections. Otherwise the expansion writing so far is fantastic, nailing the three most important points–characters, characters, and characters. With a sprinkle of narcissism on top.

Overall, the expansion has been awesome, maybe the best I’ve ever played. More Rift impressions next time. Ciao for now and happy gaming.


Blizzard ~ Going Up Or Going Down

kitty buy listA few days ago I bought stock in Blizzard-Activision. The stock has been crushed in the last month, supposedly due to the initial bad reaction and reviews of Destiny (Activision), and I would assume the cancellation of Titan is also a factor.

I know better with Destiny. I think. Destiny seems to have solid post-launch traction with the Joe and Jane console gamers, and most comments I see are surprisingly positive. So why not take a chance with an industry that I know?

The chart of Blizzard’s stock looks terrifyingly horrible, though. It bounced with the big market bounce in the last week, but it still underperformed, and it’s limping dangerously below its trend lines. I hope I don’t lose too much for comfort before the earnings announcement on 11/4.

That would be a problem.

It would be worse if the stock tanked on earnings, I sold, and then a big announcement came at Blizzcon. That would be this kitty’s luck recently. I don’t recommending pushing chips at Blizzard, but if there’s a surprise of any kind, and I think there could be, there could be big profit.

Raptr from last month shows a strong surge in Diablo 3, and Hearthstone is holding position for Blizzard to dominate the top ten most played PC games. (Destiny is not in PC.) They also have Warcraft the movie coming in 2016, but who knows.

Any opinions on Blizzard? Will they have a big announcement at Blizzcon? They already announced Hearthstone will go to mobile early next year. Hearthstone is an awesome game.

I hope dedicated U.S. kitty readers perked their ears and got some chips in during last week’s panic sell-off over Ebola, Europe, and China. You might have made 5-10% since then. Or maybe things aren’t over yet. I think money coming from Europe and Asia in off-hours has been a big factor in the rally, but I won’t bore readers any further.

This is just a little blurb that I’ve kept short on purpose. I’ve got good writing material for the weekend, including a secret sex scandal in a big upcoming RPG the kitty uncovered this week while pawing through a developer Tumblr. I hope Massively doesn’t scoop me. :3

So go Blizzard! I never thought I’d be cheering for Blizzard, but Trion is a private company. So. I’ll have reactions on Nightmare Tide when I have more of them. Today I’m a wee bit annoyed, but I’ll get over it.


Weekly Wyrm: Oct. 19, 2014

The highlight of this week was complete disgust at the Utah death threat against Anita Sarkeesian. The threat went something like this:

“Feminists have ruined my life, and I will have my revenge, for my sake and the sake of all others they’ve wronged.”

The local Mormon police seemed conspicuously absent, like “whatevs, we don’t see anything that needs our attention”. Are we living in Afghanistan? Next will it be acid attacks?

Sarkeesian was featured in a live MSNBC interview that was posted today on Youtube, confirming opinions that these threats will only strengthen Sarkeesian’s position.

(direct link)

Angry Joe put up a great, entertaining old-school review of Alien:Isolation this week.

I was thrilled to see a great game with a female protagonist, until I thought longer about why the female protagonist starts the game in her underwear. What male-protagonist game lately has started you off in gratuitous undies?

The Alien:Isolation deshabille actually has an artistic precedent in Alien, the original movie, but this issue is clearly something society takes for granted in games, and it’s fabulous that Anita Sarkeesian and a few brave others are refusing to back down from these threats to their lives and well-being, instead just using them to prove their points.

So I’m still preferring to pay for the well-outfitted lady desert Rangers in Wasteland 2. I purchased it and started playing tonight, despite having already ponied up sub and credits for Rift: Nightmare Tide.

I don’t think I’ve paid full price for a game since Rift, unless you count LotRO expansions. Wasteland 2 has had two solid patches since it launched to widespread positive reviews, which all looks promising on top of the Youtube gameplay sequences I watched.

Not too many people, much less game bloggers, played the original Wasteland game two decades ago. This game has style. It’s time to repair some toasters.


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