Tuesday, 29 January 2013

ME: Character identity

Today I posted an article on iRez on avatars and identity in Mass Effect. iRez is a collaboration of multiple authors with different backgrounds, with virtual identity as subject. The writers form a mix of Second Life girls, professional artists and MMO players. It's refreshing to write for a public of non-MMO players for a change and look at gaming from a different point of view.

Writing about Mass Effect reminded me of some things I should do:
  • Play the Extended Cut - I still don't know what they changed about the ending!
  • Replay Mass Effect 3 with the Omega and Leviathan DLC, just waiting for that third content DLC to get released
  • But before all that, I should finally write that article about Mass Effect 3's ending!

If you're curious at some Mass Effect theory-crafting, check out Avatar & Identity - Mass Effect (2) at iRez.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

SWTOR: Epic lightsaber fights

What's a Star Wars movie without a good lightsaber fight? Lucky for us, the developers of Star Wars: The Old Republic thought the same about their game and gave us plenty of fancy effects. I absolutely love all the pull, push and jump effects of SWTOR. They don't just look awesome, they also make gameplay (especially in PvP) very versatile and fun. 

A while ago, me and my guildies were waiting to start the Nightmare Pilgrim and got bored. People went messing around and sparring each other. The perfect opportunity for me to sneak around like a paparazzi and take some action pictures of epic lightsaber fights.

Not sure what happens here, but it looks painful.

Jedi's somehow learned how to cast atomic explosions. No orokeets were harmed in the process.


An example of the traditional George Lucas lightsaber battle technique, making sure the saber hits everything but the opponent.

It was certainly a lot harder to take shots of sparring characters than I expected. Not only were they leaping/getting pulled/getting pushed out of my view all the time, the lightsaber effects were actually a bit *too flashy* most of the time. Out of 13 pictures, I kept only these 7, but I'm happy with the result nonetheless.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

A new look

You might have noticed that I've been messing around with the blog's appearance a bit the last weeks. Perhaps you have even been reading with sunglasses on to not be blinded by changing colours every reload, in which case I apologize in advance: I might still change some colours, but only slightly. Most of it should be done by now, though.

Blogger vs Wordpress

I've been unhappy about Ravalation's design for a few months. I was jealous at those Wordpress blogs, who somehow always seem to look professional. I even went as far as to try out Wordpress, but the limitations of their skins were larger than I thought. For instance, I wasn't able to change any colours without paying for it, and I'm way too picky to just stick with a pre-cooked one. There were none that worked exactly like I wanted, so Wordpress isn't for me.

My conclusion is that Blogger might offer less awesome-looking pre-made designs, but it has far more (free) options for customization. So I decided to stick with Blogger after all, studied some html, and the result is here!

Ravalation's transformation

In about a week, I went from
 the old well-known

to the slick, but slightly too formal

to the 'final':

I hope you like it, because I certainly hope not to see any more html the coming weeks!

Circles and stuff

Although I'm not really sure what's all about it, I linked my blog to my Google+ account. I'm new to Google+, though, and I feel really lonely with only a couple of people in my circle. If you like this blog, please consider to add me to your circles and I will follow you back!

What I like:

  • Colours! I really liked the look of 2), but it didn't have enough colour to keep me happy. I think I might suffer from a turquoise addiction.
  • I learned a lot about html so I'll be able to change most stuff whenever I feel like it. Special thanks to my friend Chris for the parts I couldn't solve myself!
  • White background for articles: I think this is easier to the eyes than white letters on a turquoise background. Please let me know if I'm wrong.
  • The banner: I love how it shows a new one each time the page gets reloaded, and I keep thinking of new ones to add to the collection.

What I don't like:

  • Tab bar bug: there's something wrong with the About me and Blogging button. I can't click either of them, and the Blogging button shows as if it's selected. I tried deleting the pages and creating new ones, but nothing works. If anyone has an idea, please let me know!

Finally: I sometimes have a tip or notice a small mistake on someone else's blog and don't feel positive about jumping in there and just throwing it around. In case anyone is having the same thing about this blog: here is the place to nag me about it. Since you are the one actually reading the stuff,

Let me know what you think!

Friday, 25 January 2013

KOTOR 2: Fashion in the Old Republic

Since the gaming laptop is gone, there isn't that much to do in LotRO and raiding together isn't an option, Tiger and I have resorted to other games. We've played some Sims 3, but now we've started Knights of the Old Republic 2 (in short: KOTOR 2), which we bought cheap in the latest Steam sale. I've only played the first game and that was ages ago, so I was very curious as to how things were to proceed.

Because KOTOR 2 was rushed and barely finished when released, we installed some mods that fix some things and include parts they had to cut due to time limitations. The PC Gaming Wiki has a great article about it here.

The game started in the right mood, when I met the first guy in the game. He was held in custody behind a force field, I was in my underwear (picture above). Don't ask. The worst thing was that he actually thought my underwear was sexy. I mean, look at that stuff. If this is considered sexy, what happened to fashion in the age of the Old Republic? Or exactly how long was he held behind that force field?

And look at this. Dear god, it's the combat suit disaster all over again! I can't help it, it had better stats than the underwear. Stop. Staring. At. Me.

Luckily, this embarrassment didn't have to take long. Soon I found a badass dark padawan robe to steal the show.

Now we're just missing an explosion to walk away from.

I thought the start of KOTOR 2 was a bit slow: it really took ages to get off the mining station. However, the mystery of what happened there was fun, and Atton and Kreia as companions are okay. The graphics and combat system are cute as always. I'll certainly play this game to the end - if I'll bore you with a report of it is another story. For now it's time to set a course to Telos for "I'm totally not piloting the air" flyboy Atton.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

LOTRO: Captain of the Wold

While we are riding around in Rohan, I thought it fitting to make a Rohirric outfit for my captain, lore-wise supposed to be from Rohan herself. It wasn't to be a shiny outfit, but a practical and sturdy one that would suit the needs of a warrior on horse, roaming the fields to get rid of invading orcs. Thus the following photoshoot with captain Ravenwyn. Enjoy!

Uhm okay, now the orc is in pursuit of me, which is sort of the wrong way around but err... shit happens. Either way, I wanted to use at least one of the new pieces that came with Rohan, and I wanted the colours to feel natural, so she would blend in a bit with the background. No use running around in orange, shouting for attention while there's true danger lurking out there.

Off-topic: did any of you notice how all war-steed manes changed to crème? They used to dye with the tail, but now they don't anymore. It's as if all my steeds became of old age all of a sudden!

Here you can see the outfit from up close. Most of the pieces are from Rohan, but two are actually Dunlending from origin. This might seem strange for a captain from Rohan to wear, but let's pretend they are trophies. I called the outfit "Captain of the Wold" because of the emblem on the chest piece.

       Captain of the Wold       

The padded mantle and breastplate are quest rewards, but there are multiple rewards with the same appearance: you don't need to complete specifically that one quest. The other pieces are crafted, apart from the cloak and the circlet, which came respectively with the Rohan and the Rise of Isengard pre-order.

The only thing I might not like about this outfit is that the boots seem to stand out a bit. A good alternative would be Strang-fótas, dyed ranger green.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

SWTOR: Where's my SHIP?!

So in addition to a new jacket, I got a piece of blue underwear to pull over my tentacles today, awesome! Even though I usually hide my headgear (on other characters I like to see my hair - I know, we women are vain), this one is pretty practical with the tentacles popping through the holes and I bet pretty warm too in windy space ports. Besides, I look utterly badass with it, so I might actually hold on to this one for a while.

Today the hunt for my stolen ship continued. While I was enjoying flirting with shady underworld types, watching Corso being cute and getting jealous, Y'uno herself was getting increasingly frustrated by missing out on her ship and villain Skavak getting away with it. The exclaimed "Where is my ship?!" was getting more and more capitalized. 

I love the smuggler story.

And then, finally, we got our ship back. And what a ship it was!

A ship with its own bar = win. Now I only need some friends to hang out with.

There also seemed to be some... 'interesting' cargo.

And my own ship pet. I call him Lexy.

Flygirl Yu'no, ready for the stars!

Y'uno is wearing: Terenthium Barrage Jacket - Gunslinger's Headgear - Laminoid Barrage Belt, and colour unified: Esseles Scoundrel's Gloves - Stealth Leggings - Tempered Mesh Armguards - Cerean Synthleather Kneeboots.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

SWTOR: Quiet times

The most interesting report I can offer today is that I've been leveling my Gunslinger Y'uno little bit during the day on Coruscant, on Tiger's computer while he was at work. Originally, I meant her to be called Yuno, but the name was taken, and she ended up with Y'uno. I thought that sounded okay, she is a Twi'lek after all. With the last server transfer to the Red Eclipse, even Y'uno appeared to be taken, though. Now the poor girl is actually cryptically called Y-u'no. I'll refer to her as Y'uno here anyway.

It's a quiet time in the gaming world for me these weeks. First, the gaming laptop decided it would repeatedly show black screens when it would reach 60 ºC when we were on holiday in Sweden. We had to send it back to the factory. This means there is only one computer at home that can play Star Wars, so no flashpoints, raids or looking for our HK-parts together for Tiger and I. Secondly, my Mac is performing worse and worse at LotRO, so it becomes hard to do instances and raids without the laptop. On top of that, Tiger's burglar does so much DPS that he has driven the tanks of our kinship into despair. This means no raiding in LotRO either.

So basically I spend the evening jealously watching Tiger play lowbie PvP in Star Wars or playing Civilization with his online friends, while I rebuild Hythbold or something. Quite frankly, I'm bored to death. There aren't many other options for me without the gaming laptop, and it suddenly occurs to me how much I've gotten used to a bit of gaming excitement each evening. Is this what people mean when they say games are addictive?

Thursday, 10 January 2013

LOTRO/SWTOR: Happy new year!

I know it's been a while, but I wish a happy new year to all who might still take a glance at this blog! Here a quick update about what's been going on here, because 2012 was the year in which...

...I had to study a lot more than I expected. These last months, that is. I'm glad to have found some time to post now, though, and let's not spend too much time talking about the boring stuff. We go on.

...My kinship and raiding group got the "Original Challenger of Saruman" title. Hurray for us!

...Tiger and I seriously got into raiding in SWTOR, and it was *fun*. Doing the hardmode fights (especially in Terror from Beyond or "TfB") certainly requires a different level of playing compared to the normal modes or hard modes of the easier operations. While I still consider SWTOR to be my 'leisure game' compared to my main game LotRO, it's been a cool experience.

...Tiger couldn't stop talking about his new female character that he has been leveling at work, a green sage girl called Adelynn, wearing that elegant top with the boobs almost falling out. It drove me so crazy that I secretly changed his desktop background to the above. It's been two weeks now, and he still hasn't changed it. He complains about the bar concealing her eyes all the time, though. I don't think he got my point.

...I was totally not hypocritical at all (*blink*) by creating and leveling my own almost-boob-losing character in the form of Zamírah, my first zabrak and first tanking toon. I greatly enjoyed running around on her, swinging her pink (!) lightsaber. I especially designed her looks to fit the naughty top. Am I bad?

...The Hobbit was released, and damn, did it turn out better than I expected! The Hobbit doesn't digress as much from the lore than the Lord of the Rings movies, and I was enjoying myself terribly much when watching it. I can't wait until the second movie! (But I'll have to! Aargh.)

 ...I spent an awful lot of time riding the hobbyhorse, only to STILL not have completely rebuild Hythbold. What can I say, story of my life!

What adventures did 2012 bring you?

To a fruitful new blogging year! Rav out.