Friday 18 April 2014

SWTOR: Bears in space

The laptop is back! Looking back it took two months to get the repairs done. And even that wasn't exactly how it happened, because we ended up not getting the original laptop back but a new version with better specs. Annoying that it took this long, but on the other hand it was worth the time and money because this means we can use it for a few years longer before having to replace it.

Guild troubles

Unfortunately, we found upon our return to Star Wars that both our Republic and Imperial guilds had become inactive, due to a combination of us not being able to attend and the release of the Elder Scrolls Online (ESO). The situation was especially severe in our Imp guild, with almost all officers, members and guild leader having left off to ESO without any plans for Star Wars. A real shame, because we had a solid team of good players doing progression raids and our characters are ready for the new nightmare modes. For the moment we've joined a larger guild called PC Mint Imperials, so hopefully we're able to get raiding there.

On Rep side activity luckily seems to have returned, and we have some raids planned again. I'm really happy about this, because Tiger and I have played and raided with these people for years in Lord of the Rings Online. It has been great raiding with Asylum in Star Wars now LotRO has a far more casual character and lacks proper endgame.

Drawing bears

I also had amazing fun designing a new website for our Rep guild. I've given up on getting better at drawing on the Bamboo tablet for now, because it dawned on me that improvement will mostly have to do with getting to know tricks and buttons within Photoshop, something that I simply lack the energy for. Instead, I've found great fun in illustrating blog posts and now designing our guild website. I feel this simple back-to-basic style has its own charm. And by just doing it a lot, I might even learn a few things and, in time, improve a bit.

For our guild's banner, I was inspired by whoever decided our URL should include "bears in space" and our guild's mascot Norman. Taking these quite literally, the result was a rather silly retro-looking website including some bad humour. I was anxious to hear the reaction of my guildies, but luckily they have been exclusively positive so far! I'm happy with any feedback, though, so if you want you can check our website out over here.

Monday 7 April 2014

ME 3: Omega DLC

So while the laptop is still (!) away for repairs, I've started playing Mass Effect 3 again. Mass Effect was one of the games I played when I just started this blog, so that's two years ago already! However, I was very disappointed with the ending, and I never came about writing about it.

Now Tiger has installed the DLCs for Mass Effect 3, which also should include some changes to the disappointing ending. Time to replay the game and see what it's like.

We are playing this 'together' again, for as far that is possible with a single-player game. In our case, this means Tiger does the controls, and I tell him what to do.

The rest of this post will contain some spoilers about the Omega DLC, so if you don't want to know anything you better stop reading.

The first DLC we got to was the Omega one. Omega is taken by Cerberus (a sort of terrorist organization) and former leader Aria has fled to the Citadel (central space station when the galactic council is situated).

Now Omega is some sort of space dock full of criminals, so maybe it's not the first choice of a world to free. But Aria helped you out in Mass Effect 2, so it's time to return the favour. Also, there's the fact that she promises you the help of the major crime gangs in your fights against the evil Reapers if you help her reclaim the station.

What I really liked about this DLC is that it explores the character of Aria a bit more. Aria is this really ruthless person that does everything for the power of what she sees as 'her' Omega. At the same time, she is also your ally and I can't help but feel sympathy for her. The situation gets tense when a turian is introduced. She has taken control of the underground movement while Aria was away and wants the best for her people. It then turns out she also has a special relationship with Aria.

It didn't occur to me earlier, but Aria is kinda purplish for an assari. Maybe it's that Omega air she's breathing in. She's also an expert at looking sulky.

I won't spoil more of the story, but overall, this DLC was fun. A nice surprise is that Shepard could get access to the special (pretty overpowered) biotic attack you see Aria doing all the time. This makes this DLC extra cool for biotic Sheps.

Thursday 3 April 2014

Sims 3: End of story

So how did it end with granny Vanessa and the two girls? Did granny go beserk after Delilah and Elaine had shown such little support when Death was at the door that she had to be saved by the cat? I fear I'll have to disappoint my readers a bit in this regard.

First Vanessa thought it was time to retire. This apparently had to be celebrated with signs of agitated gorillas (if this is some unique American tradition, please fill me in).

Then granny did go beserk... in the kitchen. She bought an interesting device called "replicator" which was able to duplicate every five star meal right out of the fridge. In combination with the special nothing-ever-goes-sour-fridge (I think it was a reward for becoming a five star cook), this meant that she could supply Delilah and Elaine with endless five star meals without anyone having to cook ever.

The fridge needed to be filled, though, so she went to the shops to buy all recipes she could find and tried to make a perfect version of them for in the fridge.

It was too late, though. That day, Delilah turned 18. She gave a fabulous beach-party-without-beach and everyone seemed to have lots of fun. I couldn't help but feel a bit sad, because Vanessa was still around.

Vanessa spent a lot of time with the girls after her retirement, getting to know them a little better. They went to some super hot party with the four of them (the cat also joined but somehow got lost in the underground halfway), which they thought was awesome because granny as a celebrity could get them into all the VIP zones. They also went on a tour through town to get group pictures made everywhere.

Then, one day after Delilah's party, Vanessa died. Very appropriately too, in the kitchen after finishing her last recipe: a perfect tofu turkey.

This time, Delilah and Elaine were horrified. They put their plates on the floor as some kind of protest.

They clearly didn't know what to do. Granny did, though.

It was time to go.

Gently, she shook Death's hand and disappeared.

Everyone was sad, including me. My challenge had failed. And maybe, just maybe I was a little bit sad too because Vanessa was a pretty amazing virtual person.

But hey, life isn't so grim. In the end, everyone has to go and Elaine and Delilah at least have enough superb food for the rest of their lives. But first they buried granny and held a super sad ceremony.

And now? My times with the Sims is over for now, but who knows when I might return someday. Maybe with a family of bloggers, who knows? Either way, time to say goodbye to the McKay family for now.

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Pokémon: Gotta catch 'em all (for real)

I haven't written about pokémon for ages. But I got a good reason! Naturally, I was too busy secretly preparing for this:

Okay, maybe not. Maybe I don't even own a smartphone... I would totally get one just for the sake of being able to do this, though!

PS Sorry for the unimaginative post, but hey, at least it gave me an excuse to pull out the Bamboo again.

Thursday 27 March 2014

Assassin's Creed: How I came to play

I haven't been able to play any Star Wars or LotRO lately, simply because the gaming laptop has been away for repairs, I think for over 4 weeks by now. I know, AARGH. So instead, Tiger's been sharing his PC with me and we've been playing some single-player games: mostly Mass Effect and Assassin's Creed.

Now Assassin's Creed (written as AC in the title since I'm just that lazy) was a series I've always thought wasn't for me. In ancient times, my now ex-boyfriend had let me try Assassin's Creed I, and I didn't like it at all. The controls were weird and I'm not really the conspiracy theory and assassination type of girl. But Tiger has been playing it a bit when I've been studying and I may have accidentally made some remarks about how awesome the game looks. Now Tiger set off on a missionary path. It went sort of like this.

"What don't you like about it?" I explained what I found last time I tried it. "Well, if you look further than the conspiracy thing, the storytelling is actually quite good. You usually like these sort of things in games." 

Me: "But you have to assassinate people. It's evil. Look, there you did it! He didn't do anything to you!" "He was just a city guard..." Me: "He was innocent!" "Well, he worked for the wrong person." "Does he know? I mean, he probably has a family to take care of. A wife and kids. Who wouldn't take an easy job of patrolling the city roofs. I mean, roofs. What's the odd chance...?" Tiger: "You don't have to kill them. You can also just knock them unconscious, you know. Or sneak past them." Me: "So why didn't you...?"

*flying property*

Now Tiger was pulling out the heavy gunnery. "But I understand. You didn't like the controls. I guess you're not too good with controllers." Me: "What?! My first XBOX game was Ninja Gaiden. And I've played it until the end!"* "Hmm, that game is pretty hardcore. Well, if you can play that, Assassin's Creed should be a cakewalk." Sigh. I didn't like where this was going.

"Besides, the controls are indeed a bit clunky in Assassin's Creed I. It gets much better in the later games."

Okay, that was that then. Tiger: 1, Rav: 0. I guess there was only one option: I actually had to start playing Assassin's Creed.

* I quote from its Wikipedia page: The Ninja Gaiden games gained a reputation throughout the gaming community for their difficulty and attention to detail. Although they appealed to gamers who (...) wanted a "bloody hard, but also bloody good" challenge, it was feared that casual gamers would find the learning curve daunting. IGN warned that gamers with lesser skills might not "get as much out of this game as others due to [its] incredible difficulty"." I can concur, this game was really challenging.

Wednesday 26 March 2014

LOTRO: Day, night and lousy weather

 Okay, maybe this wasn't the best day to go out and take a ride...

In Day/Night cycles for a chance of sunset MMO Gypsy praises MMOs in which the developers took the effort to program day and night cycles into their games. I'm right with her on this one.

I miss this extra sense of realism in Star Wars. When I ride through LotRO and the rain suddenly falls onto my face, I remember what's so awesome about this game again. That's another thing that LotRO sets apart from other games: it has weather changes.

I sought my library of screenshots for some examples to illustrate how much influence the weather can have on the atmosphere of an area. You might recognize some of the pictures from earlier blog posts. My library is pretty extensive, though, so you've been warned.

Screenshots incoming!

A rainy day in Eastern Rohan.

The same region of Eastern Rohan during a bright day.

Even in the snowy region of Wildermore there's diversity. The region is forever cold due to a wizard's spell, but that doesn't mean it always looks the same.

Here's Wildermore again, this time without snow falling down. All of a sudden, the bleak winter sun makes the edges of Fangorn look as if they're ripped from a book of fairy tales.

And even in Wildermore, the area looks different during a foggy dawn.

Late afternoon in the Wold, Eastern Rohan. The light comes from a low angle: you can see the day is nearing its end.

This is how Fingolwë and Ravanel saw Edoras from afar at dawn.

And this is the sky when they arrived at its entrance a few (in-game) hours later.

I like how the Shire sky has this slightly deeper blue teint. Just sets it apart a little.

Deep in the night in Enedwaith the world might look a bit scarier. And heroes might look a bit more like heroes when they light up in the dark.

I really liked the contrast between the waving yellow grass of Enedwaith and the early night's king's blue sky. Shame I was on my crappy computer, so the quality of the screenshot isn't amazing.

I could add another dozen images or so, but I think you get the idea.

It seems like new MMOs tend to save money when it comes to 'fluff' like this, with Wildstar as a positive exception to the rule (as it at least seems to have day and night cycles). (Out of curiosity: does anyone know another MMO besides LotRO that has both day/night cycles and alternating weather?) I think this development in games is a shame, because it really adds a deeper level of immersion and quality to a game.

Monday 24 March 2014

Watching Firefly

No Star Wars today, but something else spacey: I've started watching the Firefly TV-series this week, and it's awesome. Now I'm aware that probably everyone and their dog has already seen this series, but remember, I live under a rock.

In the rare case that you haven't, there's really only one word that will catch what the series is about, and that's "space cowboys". The first episode sums it up pretty well. Without too much explaining in your face, you get this feeling of a harsh environment at the edge of space where people have to go to great lengths to survive. But it's not too serious about it. It's more like a ...'space cowboy comedy'? There's great strength in the storytelling.

This is quite the break from the idealistic Star Trek: The Next Generation series, which I've been watching the past few months in its entirety. No future full of idealism in Firefly. No future where money and poverty have disappeared and people strive to become better, but instead at least one bar fight per episode and a ship on which the most respectable person is a whore. How awesome is that?

The comparison of newly colonized space with the Wild West is gold. Every scene ends with a well-placed country guitar streak and Wild Western camerawork. Oh, and did I mention there's at least one bar fight in every episode? Whoever made this spacey cowboy crossover, it works.

Okay, maybe the Alliance does resemble the Empire in Star Wars a bit too much. And maybe the acting isn't always that subtle (I'm really hoping for a bit more depth for the psycho girl in the coming episodes). But the series does manage to make me grin all the time.

The coolest part? I wouldn't even have known about this series without blogging. Thanks, Rowan, for mentioning Firefly to me!

Friday 21 March 2014

SWTOR: What's this stronghold stuff?

You'll probably have heard the news by now: as per June we're getting SWTOR apartments! I mean, strongholds, totally strongholds (sigh).

Seriously, what's this 'stronghold' stuff? If I hear stronghold, I imagine some sort of castle. Not particularly useful in spacey future times. Besides, I'm always out there in danger, so when I'm having time off I want to relax in my leisure apartment. Not hide behind some barricades with all my stuff.

The name aside, this seems to be a decent update. There's even another teaser vid, that doesn't particularly tell much, but looks cool:

What's hot?

All directly from the official homepage:
"Legacy Stronghold Storage – Unlock access to a new type of storage that is shared across your entire Legacy!"
Legacy storage! What can I say, this is going to be huge. Awesome for raiding consumables, crafting materials and smuggle wares without ending up loosing sight on what character has what. People have been asking for this since the start of the game, so it's good this is finally added.
"Rally your guild aboard your own Guild Flagship and join the renowned ranks of your faction’s starship fleet."
This is a nice surprise, there's been no mention of a guild ship before. Always good to have a place where you can accumulate trophies with your buddies. This should be a fun addition.
"Choose a prestigious apartment in the heart of your faction’s capital world, or live in style among the high-rollers of Nar Shaddaa or both – your Legacy can own multiple Strongholds!"
It's nice that there is some choice of planet where to live. I had hoped for more planets (would have loved to live on Tatooine, for instance), but this is better than just Coruscant or something of the likes. It's also nice to be able to have multiple houses, especially for roleplay purposes. I think I'm going to settle for one Imp and one Rep one though. I'm certainly not going to grind out an apartment for each alt!
"Display trophies earned in battle, craft state-of-the-art furniture, and unlock all-new rewards across the game. Then customize your Strongholds with hundreds of unique decorations to express your personal style."
Crafting, trophies... exactly what I had hoped for. Surely they'll come up with some creative stuff.

Buzzing blogs

Meanwhile, it seems people are getting quite excited about this, and SWTOR blogs are buzzing. Most bloggers agree 'stronghold' sounds silly, but are generally quite happy with the revealed features. Here's a short wrap up:

Going Commando loves how Bioware manages to surprise players with an update that appears to be more impressive than expected.

Meanwhile, Swords & Lightsabers has 101 ideas about the possible housing details.

Finally, Werit wonders how the decoration system will work, while Njessi of Hawtpants of the Republic finds her luxury condo has a walk-in-closet.

Don't forget to sub in May in order to get early access in June!

Monday 17 March 2014

Sims 3: The amazing Lady McKay

It's been a long while since my last Sims post, but I would still like to finish the story of the McKay family here. It just feels so unfinished now, it makes me feel a bit guilty. So here we go.

Quick recap

If you remember, the Mc Kay family consists of five-star chef Vanessa "Granny" McKay, her two grandchildren, Delilah and Elaine, and cat Lady. My goal was to have two teenage children without anyone to look after them, but the game doesn't allow you to start off like that. So it was down to hoping Granny would kick the bucket soon. Unfortunately, she apparently had led such a healthy life that she didn't seem to want to do so, even though her lifespan bar had already been filled for days. Elaine even turned into an adult already. Would Granny at least make it to heaven before Delilah, too, would turn 18?


The girls certainly wouldn't miss her. Granny had to work in the evenings, and they went to school in the mornings, so there was barely any time to get to know each other. Besides, there as no need, since Vanessa always left some five-star food in the fridge for the girls to eat. Granny did grow a bit closer to Elaine the last days (since Elaine didn't have to go to school anymore), but her real "BFF" was Lady. 

Need a hug? Hug Lady! Social meter down to zero? Quick, pick up Lady! (Or alternatively, sniff Granny, it all depends on your point of view.) Lady always made sure Granny never overslept by meowing in front of her bed in the mornings (and unfortunately also sometimes during the night). And Granny was the only one who Lady would allow to bathe her when she was having fleas. Maybe I shouldn't have been so surprised by what was about to happen.

Saved by the cat

The time was finally there. When the girls were about to go to bed, the Grim Reaper showed up in their bedroom. Not for them, but for Granny, who was on her way to pay a visit to the toilet upstairs. Elaine exchanged an annoyed look with Delilah ("okay... does this have to happen in our bedroom?"), but for the rest didn't show any emotion as Granny begged for her life. One person, however, was about to show her discontent with the situation.

Lady McKay left out a heartbreaking howl as she understood what was about to happen. Who would give her a flea bath in times of dire need now? And more importantly, who would serve her five-star homemade cat food in the mornings?

It appears even the Grim Reaper couldn't bear such honest emotions and he decided to spare Granny's life.

Things soon turned to normal within the McKay family. Or did they? Vanessa McKay certainly had something on her mind from now on. There were only a few days left until Delilah's birthday...

Saturday 8 March 2014

SWTOR: Some hopes regarding housing

We're getting houses - but I live on my ship!

Tiger sent me this video of upcoming plans for housing in Star Wars. I think he was expecting me to jump around the house happily, but I don't know:

The video obviously doesn't show much. We see what is assumed to be a player-owned apartment on what seems to be Coruscant. There is some furniture and a mailbox. The thing standing at the left side of the room may or may not be a cargo hold. And there's a droid, of which it is unclear whether it is the jedi knight companion or a 'house droid'. The video is more a teaser than anything. 

Still, I think it's pretty cool that they're working on this, and I know that many people been hoping for housing for a long time. Myself, I've always felt that my ship was in a way my own 'house', although it's a shame there isn't much to customize there apart from adding the useful stuff like training dummies and cargo holds. What will SWTOR housing add here?

Wild ideas

This is what I hope housing in Star Wars will include:

A house can be so much fun, but if it's situated on some far backwater area you can't easily reach, I'll forget about it and rarely visit it. It should at least have a quick travel. It would be great if a house would give you extra cargo space, preferably shared between characters. It could be, like, a legacy house. That way it would make sense lore-wise as well.
It would be awesome to collect items won in battles (raids, flashpoints) or found in the open world that remind you of adventures experienced and place them in your house. I'm sure the developers can come up with some crazy cool ideas of things to put there. Especially things you can use ('click') and that do something are my favourite.

I once saw a really cute video made by a LotRO player, showing his housing trophies and 'flashbacks' to the moment he'd acquired them. I'm so annoyed that I can't find it back to show it to you!

Crafting recipes for furniture 
I love crafting recipes for outfits, even though they took a big hit with the introduction of the cartel market. It still would be cool to be able to craft nice stuff for your house. Like actual good-looking stuff, not a hobo version for people who can't afford stuff from the cartel market.

If SWTOR houses will have a kitchen and a privy, I'll salute the developers. I'm not counting on it, though. Oh and Star Wars houses should totally be called apartments. I'm getting the TOR feeling already!

Home is where your friends are

This is what I hope housing in Star Wars will not include:

A time and money sink
I have to spend more time than I'd like into trying to get money in Star Wars. If it's going to be very expensive to pay upkeep, it will have to be very good for me to bother with it.

A cartel market walhalla
The developers no doubt have ideas about cartel market housing items. I just hope it's not going to be a cartel market exclusive housing party. That would greatly take away my interest.

Too much space
This is a tricky/personal one. I've always felt that the personal houses in LotRO had too much space: loads of space and just sometimes an item here or there. I'd like my house to be full of stuff, looking cozy like my real house would look like, not like a random page taken from a design magazine.

Will I buy a house?

I generally like owning a house and putting my stuff there, but we don't know anything about housing in Star Wars yet. In LotRO, I do own one, which I mostly use for nostalgia reasons and to get dyes from the shared vault. I gave Tiger access to the vault, since he's a digital hobo. I don't know if he'll want an apartment in Star Wars or not. Whether I'll get one myself will mostly depend on the factors described above.

Tuesday 28 January 2014

LOTRO: Warm fur for the winter days

Now I've settled all the skills and points on my lore-master, I find myself logging her in each morning during breakfast. It strikes me as relaxing to spend some time on the five daily quests, at the same time working on completing the deeds in the area, my standing with the Survivors of Wildermore and accumulating some task items to send over to my captain.

The region is cold, though, and asks for warm winter clothing. So here's my winter fur outfit!

There are several nice and warm furry cloaks available in LotRO, however, they all cover the ears. Which is, of course, awesome for roleplay purposes, but I dislike hiding Ravanel's long hair.

It was easy to come up with the boots. I love the Ajokoira shoes, but there aren't many outfits they fit with. But then I found this Wildermore robe, with plenty of warm white fur on the shoulders.

Next on the list were some gloves, suitable to protect the hands from when making long hours on the warsteed (above), making snowmen (left) or even throwing some fire around. You're a lore-master or you are not.

We also need a headband to protect against the cold winter wind.

But enough talk, what pieces are in it already?

      Warm winter fur outfit      

The pictures include the Wildermore Survivor's Medium Gloves, save the one with the horse and sword, and the one with throwing the ball of fire, those feature the Ajokoira Gloves.

Both the Ajokoira gloves as the Wildermore Survivor's medium gloves work, but I slightly prefer the latter since... fur! As usual, follow the links to find out where and how to get each piece.

Friday 24 January 2014

LOTRO: The beauty of simbelmynë

Contrary to the feeling you might have gotten when reading the latest post on the topic, I'm not totally done with LotRO. Yet.

Actually, I have been enjoying some Rohan exploration lately. After months without login in, I just felt that LotRO feeling itching again. Surprisingly, when I asked Tiger if he would mind me starting the new content on my own, he offered to explore it together with me. Surprisingly, because he seemed to be pretty busy impersonating a dark thundercloud every time someone mentioned the word "LotRO" before. Maybe he was now carefully getting over that. Or maybe he just doesn't want to unleash me unattended in-game. Either way, I blackmailed him into promising me not to become gloomy, naturally.

Aaaaanyway, this seems like a good moment for a beautiful screenshot.

"Oohhhh! Ahhhhh!"

We both bought the Helm's Deep expansion with Turbine Points. Luckily I was able to afford it, I think I had about 2000 left (of which I immediately spent half on extra storage space). Tiger logged in and found that he had like... 10.000 TP left or something? So if you need any, you don't need to beg me for them... (Okay, I'm so going to die now.)

The epic quest made us ride directly to Edoras and I was all like "Ohhhhh! Ahhh!" when I saw it from afar. I had to stop to make a screenshot.

Before we entered the city we came through the burial mounts of the kings of Rohan and I thought it was very impressive. I just had to jump into my princess dress and take a 'selfie' amid the simbelmynë.

Geesh, Rav, you're such an attention seeker.

Selfie with simbelmynë

Monday 20 January 2014

SWTOR: Jersey Shore Andronikos

When I read Njessi's blog about her creeper experiences with Corso drooling at her in her ship's cockpit over at Hawtpants of the Republic, I just had to post this to show it's not always that bad. Go Jersey Shore Andronikos!

This is my revenge on all the 16 year old frustrated boys who still think it's cool to equip Nadia Grell/Kira Carsen/any other female companion with the slave girl outfit. Besides, we gaming girls need something to look at as well!

Friday 17 January 2014

SL: My first steps in Second Life

It is a special moment that you all know: the first time you enter a different virtual game, or more broadly said, world. There is this feeling of feeling lost, not knowing what or how to do things, but there's also this feeling of wonder, a feeling that will slowly fade as you get familiar with the world, until you take everything you see for granted.

Vanessa allowed me to experience this moment once more, by inviting me over to the wondrous world of Second Life (in short: SL). Before I got to know Vanessa, I only vaguely knew something of Second Life. I only remembered that the newspapers were writing about it when it was new: something about how it was all about fashion and that the big brands were all trying to get in. And that it probably was just a hype. Others told me they thought it was all about sex.

Reading the stories of all the pleasantly crazy people over at iRez, I decided it had to be more. And as one of the contributing authors of the iRez blog, I was invited to participate in the New Year's picture... in Second Life.

Who oh who is the real Rav? Vanessa kept mimicking me!

When I logged in with my character, I thank the heathen gods Vanessa was there to carry me around. As a gamer, I usually find my way on the keyboard pretty quickly, but Second Life was very different and not very intuitive. Luckily Vanessa was willing to listen to me panic on voice chat and give me useful directions.

Shopping is big in Second Life. The incentive is present right at the start, as you can choose a pre-made character out of a handful. No body sliders, no colour options, nothing. And they are all super ugly. If you want to change what you look like, you have to buy the changes at shops and add them to your character. There are shops for everything: clothes, hairstyles, skins... even ears and eyes!

I wanted to look a bit like an elf for the picture, so we ported to a shop I had found that could provide a dress in the right style (picture above). Vanessa gave me loads of money so that I could afford whatever I wanted. Did I tell you guys already that she's awesome?

Just before, we had spent five hours (no exaggeration, it was literally five hours) on finding the Elvish hairstyle that we're wearing on the picture. And all that time, Vanessa put up with me, it was pretty amazing. The worst part had yet to come, though.

In order to change your face, you could buy "skins". We spent some time looking at posters of faces on walls. I thought that if you would buy one of these, you would ending up looking exactly like the person on the wall. But that wasn't the case. Then I thought it meant you just bought the skin tone, but that wasn't the case either. I didn't really understand Vanessa's explanation but I picked one that looked different but worked anyway.

I think I've worked it out now. I think the skins form a combination between what you already look like and what's in the skin when you attach it to your character. I'm not sure why it works this way, but maybe it is meant to ensure everyone gets a unique face. Very complicated, either way!

This dress reminds me of the Festive Azure Party Dress that I like to wear in LotRO. Very elfy!

After we were done, we rested and talked a bit in Vanessa's amazing lighthouse. It had super hot chairs and looked very surreal. You could even fly to the roof and make weird poses (see the top picture), which we of course did. Because we could, or something, I think.

Now I was ready for the big photoshoot with the other iRez authors... or was I? I'll write about my continuing adventures in the next post.