Archive for May, 2013

h1

Battle Bards Episode 4: LOTRO With Special Guest Chance Thomas

May 30, 2013

Battle Bards

The newest episode of Battle Bards is up!

This week, Syp, Syl and I talk about a selection of songs from the Lord of the Rings Online soundtrack. As a very special treat, we also have Chance Thomas on board to share with us the stories behind the music. In addition to LOTRO, Chance has also composed and produced music for a whole bunch of other video games, many of which you will recognize. Be sure to visit his website, www.chancethomas.com!

Anyway, this was exciting for me; never would I have dreamed of one day being able to pick the brain of the composer responsible for quite possibly my favorite MMO track of all time — Hills of The Shire. I had a blast with my co-hosts and our guest recording this episode, so be sure to check it out — it’s awesome.

LISTEN NOW!

LOTRO banner

Episode 4 show notes
h1

Screenshot Of The Day: The Unicorn Whisperer

May 28, 2013

What I wore for The Secret World Monday:

unicorn

I don’t remember exactly who it was, but a couple weeks ago during one of our regular hangouts on Teamspeak, a guildie mentioned I should totally buy the unicorn mask and take a screenshot with my husband in the horse mask.

Uh, hey, whatever rocks your socks! Ask and you shall receive!

Now ain’t that a frightening sight. *SHUDDER*

h1

It’s A Perfect World

May 24, 2013

Cryptic/Perfect World seems bent on taking up all my gaming time lately. Though I can’t seem to convince my husband to come back to Star Trek Online with me, I myself have been sucked back into the game big time.

Romulan starting area

Um, yeah. This is definitely not the STO I knew and remembered. It’s bigger and better. I am still set-phasers-to-stunned by how much has changed. I know a lot of features have been added since I left, but it’s also the little things too. Stuff has been tidied up and streamlined, from the user interface to combat mechanics, the visuals and environment and effects have been updated or improved. This was something I played for almost two years before I stopped, but coming back again now feels like discovering a brand new game.

And yet, memories of gameplay inevitably flow back to me while I’m playing. Sometimes it’s a good thing, like during ground combat. Remembering the Expose/Exploit system helped me decide which weapons to give to myself and my bridge officers, and mobs went down without any trouble. But sometimes, half-remembering the game can also hinder. During space combat with my new Romulan character, I’m maneuvering my beached whale of a starting hunk of metal and wishing so badly I was still back in my main’s escort ship. A lot of the battle tactics I developed I mastered using that little Maelstrom, and that baby turned on a dime.

Space combat

Perhaps not surprisingly, my first foray back among the stars did not go so well. I even forgot the golden rule of STO space combat: DO NOT hang around exploding ships! I guess my MMO-player instinct to run up to enemies I’ve just killed in order to loot them was just too strong, and I was almost blown up for it, bleh.

It’s a shame I can only fit in about an hour or less of time in STO during the afternoons, because like I said, the mister doesn’t seem to have any interest in captain duties anymore. As for the game we’re both still playing, the obsession with Neverwinter is still holding strong and I’m glad to report we’re slowly climbing the levels every evening.

Ebon Downs

It’s a good balance, don’t you think? Sci-fi by day, fantasy by night.

h1

STO: New Expansion, New Captain

May 22, 2013

Here’s my new Romulan captain. I swear I did not actually try to make her look like an evil Natalie Portman, but that’s just what sort of happened.

D'Alana

D’Alana T’el Sindari

Anyway, I figure I’ll start writing this post now since I’m currently sitting in position six-thousand-and-something in queue waiting to get into Star Trek Online, which is something I haven’t seen since the early days of the original game’s launch. Seriously, a 6000+ queue in the middle of a week day? Congratulations STO for garnering the unprecedented level of interest for your new Legacy of Romulus expansion.

After all, I’m here too, aren’t I? I’ve logged in a few times here and there, but I haven’t played STO in earnest since…summer of 2011?

Returning to the game has always been on my list of things to do, especially since it went free-to-play. In a way, STO has a special place in my heart because blogging about my shenanigans in it during the early days is what originally got this blog off the ground. It was always so tempting to jump back in.

After a point, however, a game simply matures and leaves you behind. It’s been almost two years since I was seriously active in STO, and so many things have changed — from the ground combat improvements to the Duty Officer system. Never mind that STO has one of the most unique gameplay mechanics out there in the MMO world when it comes to space combat, which takes time to get used to and master. That’s the feature I miss the most when I think about STO, but I knew if I went back now, I’d be eaten alive.

Which is why I figured this would be the perfect time to rediscover the game again — I’ll be rolling anew with a Romulan. New expansion, new race, new character, new ship, new everything — it’ll be my chance to relearn the ropes and start from scratch.

Who knows how much I’ll be able to play nowadays, but I’ll be taking it slow, approaching this game once more with fresh eyes. I’m a newcomer again, a cadet, a clueless noob. There are a couple decisions I’ll repeat this time around though, and that’s rolling a tactical officer in an escort ship. Sorry scientists and engineers, you guys are cool too but damage dealing is just so fun in this game, I don’t think I could go any other way.

Anyway, after writing this post and mucking about online and on Twitter, looks like I’m finally at the front of the queue. Wish me luck and see y’all in game!

h1

Screenshots Of The Day: Good To Be Back In TSW

May 21, 2013

After being on vacation and gone for week, it’s mighty good to be back for The Secret World Mondays. It’s amazing how quickly your fingers can forget the controls even after such a short time, and playing a ton of Neverwinter over the last couple of weeks sure didn’t help (I couldn’t stop pressing F for everything).

Our Secret Monday group is officially moving onto Elite dungeons now. Last time we were able to clear through Elite Polaris and Inferno, and last night we were able to clear Elite Inferno again with one group and Elite Darkness War with another.

Inferno team: Syp, Rowan, Sctrz (off screen in this particular cutscene…my apologies!), Thermic, Laeyn

Inferno

Darkness War team: TententaclesPid, PaganRites, Thermic, Laeyn. There’s probably a joke in here somewhere. A kungfu master, an astronaut and an Egyptian god walk into a bar and…never mind.

darkness war

Who knows, maybe next week the Knights of Mercy will venture into Elite Ankh. Hold me!

And last but not least (the feature I’m sure y’all are all dying for), what I wore for TSW Monday:

Look at me! Look at me! I’m a daredevil skydiving construction worker! Yeppers.

Daredevil construction worker

h1

Battle Bards Episode 3: Spooky And Magical

May 13, 2013

Battle Bards

Battle Bards episode 3 is now live and up for your listening pleasure!

This week’s theme is a fun one. Syp, Syl and I (because Dodge was unavailable again…I’m starting to think he’s just making excuses to avoid us!) talk about our choices of MMO tunes that sound “spooky and magical”.

What does that mean exactly, you ask? Well, apparently it’s many different things. That each of us had such varied opinions and definitions as to what constitutes as spooky and magical is what I thought was so great about this episode’s discussion, plus we got to talk about music from so many different games.

For me, my mind immediately went to tunes that are more haunting, evocative, and ethereal, a view which certainly isn’t universal but I suppose is what “spooky” means to me, and that was how I chose my songs.

So sit back, have a listen, and let me know what you think of our choices (shown below). I’d love to know what MMO tunes are spooky and magical for you.

Listen here

GW2 Halloween

Episode 3 show notes
h1

TSW: Some Screenies From Elite Night

May 7, 2013

You’re always bound to see some strange and disturbing things on The Secret World Mondays.

Case in point — here, enjoy a picture of a wild-eyed horse in a bloodstained sweatshirt sitting next to a well-dressed man in a helicopter, gawking at one another as it crashes. Yeah, this one is probably one of the more bizarre screenshots I’ve ever taken, even for TSW…

Elite Polaris 1

Last night, we hit up Elite Polaris. After foiling our last couple of attempts, the Ur-Draug finally succumbed to the awesome might of the Mercy Templars (plus one Lumie):

Elite Polaris 2

A spontaneous run of Elite Inferno also yielded favorable results. The place gave us a lot less trouble than I expected, but then again I’m also more familiar with this dungeon than any of the others. It happens to be my favorite instance, not the least of all because of the stunning visuals.

Er, wait. I didn’t mean those kind of visuals. “So sorry” indeed! I do swear this is a PG-13 blog!

Elite Inferno 1

And of course, no TSW picture post would be complete without the “What I wore for TSW Monday” feature.

Laeyn was ninja-ing around last night in the spiffy Assassinatrix uniform, with the glowy-eyes effect from the glowing lunar draug mask:

Assassinatrix