Friday 23 December 2016

Celebrating SWTOR's five year anniversary: looking back through rose tinted glasses

Wednesday was Star Wars: the Old Republic's fifth birthday. I don't know what it is, but this year's anniversary felt more tangible to me than ever before. Perhaps it's because five is nearing that invisible barrier that makes an MMO age from mature to old - I don't consider the game 'old' yet, but it's definitely getting closer. Perhaps it's because the introduction of the galactic command system with 5.0 reminded me how we take things we love for granted, yet they are not. Or perhaps it is that the transition of LOTRO to an indie game studio reminded me that MMOs don't live forever. Whatever it is, I enjoyed looking back at the first year I played SWTOR. And now I'm going to expose you to that, too.

Monday 19 December 2016

LOTRO moving to Standing Stone Games: a fan's perspective

Earlier today, the MMO world was surprised with the news of Lord of the Rings Online moving to a newly founded independent game studio called Standing Stone Games, together with Dungeons & Dragons Online. Daybreak Games will be doing the publishing. Of course, people are already announcing the impending death of LOTRO in various comment threads, inspired by the cancellation of the much anticipated Everquest Next earlier this year by that very company. Truth is, we don't know what Daybreak's role in this exactly is and we're not likely to find out anytime soon either, the way things are done in the game industry. But if Daybreak Games is indeed just distributing LOTRO and will not hold any control over the game's content, this may actually not be a bad change.

Thursday 15 December 2016

Drawing diary: November

These drawing diaries have slowly transformed into nature nerding sessions and I'm totally okay with that. Usually, I keep my blog posts strictly on the topic of gaming, but I've found it's really nice to have a place to talk about my daily, analogue life every now and then (and post photos of pretty things). My Drawing Diaries are best suited for that. I've added the label Nature to the appropriate posts, so you know beforehand you'll not only have to suffer through those drawings, but through my nature fangirling as well.

I've considered removing the "drawing" part of the title, but for now they are a great reminder for me that I actually need to draw stuff.

Friday 9 December 2016

Spoiler-free Eternal Throne impressions

SWTOR's latest expansion, Knights of the Eternal Throne, is out for one week, so it's about time for a first impression post. I'm staying clear of any story spoilers to make it safe to read for anyone who hasn't played through the Eternal Throne yet, and I'll talk about all aspects of the expansion (including unconventional ones). So here's what I think about, in this order: leveling, the mount bug, crafting, Master Ranos, the galactic command system, Bowdaar's growth, uprisings, facial expressions, veteran mode and, last but not least, the story.

Wednesday 7 December 2016

The many salty faces of the Eternal Throne: SWTOR's new facial expressions explored

The patch notes of the Knights of the Eternal Throne expansion contained something that piqued my interest:
"Added new engine technology to improve fidelity of facial expressions in conversations and cinematics for all characters across the entire game. This graphical improvement is visible on High Shader setting."
When I played through the expansion, I made sure to look out for improved facial expressions and documented them whenever I could. I apologize in advance for the screenshot heaviness of this article.

Monday 5 December 2016

WTB Massively Singleplayer Online Game

A friend just pointed me to someone complaining in LOTRO world chat. Okay, so far nothing new. But several people joined in, in a lament of which the irony just hurts.

"Why do we need to do raids and instances for the featured gear box?"

Good question. Why force players to leave the safety of solo play and expose them to something stressful like carrying out strategies, playing skillfully and exercise social interaction? Wouldn't it be awesome if one could just do something relaxing, such as enjoying the beautiful landscape and picking flowers, to get best in slot gear?

Friday 2 December 2016

Ravalation's 2016 holiday card swap

If you're a long time Ravalation reader, you know I love snail mail. In fact, I had such a great time getting mail from readers and other bloggers and making my own new year's card last year, that I'm doing it again! As always, I'll be drawing the card myself. I haven't settled on the theme yet: might be Rogue One, might be Fantastic Beasts, might be Knights of the Eternal Throne... anything geeky. If you want to mentally prepare for what type of abomination you might be faced with, check out my Drawing diary entries.

Wednesday 30 November 2016

My Steam Awards nominations

Valve organized something new this year: the so called Steam Awards. I would probably have totally missed it if a friend wouldn't have asked me for advice on who to nominate for the Villain That Needs a Hug category (I'm a terrible advisor by the way, I had no clue!) and I would probably have skipped it if it wasn't such a nice thought experiment to fill in those categories.

Only when I read Jeromai's and Izlain's nominations, it occurred to me that this was a perfect topic for a blog post. Not only do you get to compare choices, you also get to find out about people's interests beyond MMOs and may even discover some new titles you want to play. So, without further ado, here are my Steam Awards nominations.

Monday 28 November 2016

Preparing for Knights of the Eternal Throne: a checklist

SWTOR's newest expansion, Knights of the Eternal Throne, is almost there! I'll be joining the early access mass tomorrow; those that are not eligible will Friday. Along with KOTET a lot of changes will be implemented. Here are the things I'm doing to prepare. Let's exchange tips! If I missed anything, let me know in the comments.

Friday 25 November 2016

Drawing diary: October

I'm over due for another drawing diary: November is almost over already! So let's see what I've been up to in October. In this blog post I'll be talking about hula hooping birches, my slacking health and a brief visit to lovely autumny Sweden - pictures included.

Monday 21 November 2016

LOTRO Update 19 review: Minas Tirith after the battle and North Ithilien

I don't like to rush through content to get to the end of it; rather, I try to enjoy the road there. This is especially the case in Lord of the Rings Online. Conrad and I have enjoyed our quiet evenings together playing through LOTRO's latest update that added North Ithilien. Because the MMO has old fashioned quest text to read through rather than voiced cut scenes, we've been making things more lively by reading the quests out to each other. Turns out this slows down things a lot, and hence I am unfashionably late with this update 19 review.

I decided to post this anyway, because, well, North Ithilien is pretty! If I did it right, this post will give a solid impression of the region both to LOTRO players that aren't high enough level to enter yet, and Tolkien fans that do not play the game.

Friday 18 November 2016

Exploring Zakuul from dazzling heights

A week ago, I wrote in my Zakuul sightseeing post: "The Zakuulan skyline is (...) a beauty to behold. It is unfortunate that you can't get high up yourself to admire it outside story chapters and cutscenes." But then I remembered: my character may not be able to ascend, but my camera can.

Yes, you're reading it right, I found an excuse to fiddle around with SWTOR's max zoom distance again! I was very curious myself to get a grasp of how the city of Zakuul fits together, because you really can't tell when you're just running around using normal character view. I felt this child like sensation of excitement because I was about to enter an unexplored realm of potential beauty. Here are the results.

Monday 14 November 2016

Picking flowers to gain best in slot equipment: how LOTRO monetizes its endgame gear grind

It's Thursday evening; I'm home after a long day. He had picked me up from the station and now he was finishing dinner. Happy he was taking care so well of an exhausted me, I gave him a big hug - but he just gloomily stared at the wall. "What's up?" I asked. "Did I do something wrong?" "No, it's not you." Conrad replied, adding a dramatic pause. I looked at him inquisitively. "It's Turbine", he continued in a dark voice. "Today is a black day in history. Lord of the Rings Online is introducing the worst cash grabbing endgame gear I've ever seen. I can't believe they are going through with this... That, and Trump is going to be president."

Wednesday 9 November 2016

Zakuul sightseeing for International Picture Posting Month

Around this time one year ago, I posted screenshots of my favourite new SWTOR area: the Endless Swamp of Zakuul. It was International Picture Posting Month (IntPiPoMo) and I took on the challenge of posting fifty pictures in one month. Now, one year later, IntPiPoMo is upon us again and once more I find myself on Zakuul.

It occurred to me that I really like the planet, but never had taken the time to stand still and look around - after all, during most of my visits I was being hunted down by skytroopers. Therefore, especially for IntPiPoMo 2016, I revisited to shoot pictures, of which my favourite are in this article. You can find all my challenge entries under the label InPiPoMo. If you want to participate yourself, scroll down to the end of this post to see how.

Friday 4 November 2016

Pokémon Go's Halloween event

Although I haven't written about Pokémon Go recently (I haven't been able to write as much as I'd have liked overall), I have been catching pokémon whenever I could. I know the hype has died down a bit, but that's no reason for me to throw in the towel. Catching "wild pokémon" just doesn't get old for me. Despite my relative immobility, I have even managed to catch up to most of my friends - who became less fanatic over time - by sheer obsessing determination.

So when I heard there was going to be a Pokémon Go Halloween event, I was pretty excited... that is, until I realized I would be abroad in Sweden without mobile internet for the full duration of the event.

Wednesday 26 October 2016

RNG in Knights of the Eternal Throne

I try to cover all interesting SWTOR news on Ravalation. Indeed, several people have been asking what my thoughts on the highly controversial galactic command system are. The reason why I haven't written anything earlier is twofold. Firstly, Shintar voiced my initial reaction so well in Galactic Command - Bioware Trying to Reinvent the Wheel again? that I started to wonder if she can read minds. I just was reading each paragraph and nodding. Secondly, I wanted to wait for Thursday's livestream, because I expected a response to the community's outrage - and indeed, there was. And guess what? After having watched the livestream, I think I can live with these changes.

Friday 21 October 2016

Why do we like to pew pew from range?

Last week, a really interesting article caught my eye. It was called When starting a fight in video games, cautious long range is most popular, but men like to rush in and was based on scientific research by Quantic Foundry on 1266 gamers. The news was picked up by Massively OP, but remained unnoticed in the blogosphere. Which is odd, because it addressed a question that is on my mind a lot: what makes us play MMOs the way we do? Perhaps I'm alone in this; either way, it prompted me to investigate why (almost) everyone loves to play ranged in MMOs.

Friday 14 October 2016

General chat, where facts are opinions

My minstrel, Ravenwe, was just forging some ancient silver when my eyes got bored of following the crafting bar progress and incidentally wandered off to the general chat box.

Monday 10 October 2016

What can we expect of Knights of the Eternal Throne?

Last week, Bioware released a ton of information about their upcoming expansion, Knights of the Eternal Throne (aka "KOTET"), which we now know will be released on December 2nd (early access 29 November). Everyone was expecting a trailer, but we got so much more! You can find the official information here. In this article, I will try to read between the lines and present you with some prospects of, hopes for and opinions on KOTET. If you listened to episode 170 of the Corellian Run Radio (which aired yesterday with me as guest) there will be some overlap, but I'll go into even more detail here.

Friday 7 October 2016

Drawing diary: September

This isn't much of a drawing diary entry: as predicted, I haven't had much time to draw at all. I almost decided to skip this month, but I'll use the space to give you guys an' girls a general update of sorts.

Friday 23 September 2016

Flashpoint thoughts

As a celebratory end to her flashpoint review series, Shintar of Going Commando interviewed Michael Backus of Bioware, responsible for SWTOR's flashpoints. First off, I think it's really awesome that she did this, and that Bioware took the time to answer. Flashpoints have not gotten much attention lately - people tend to talk more about class or expansion stories and raids - but they're a beloved part of the game to me and an important part of the 'vanilla experience'. The interview fuelled passionate discussions about flashpoints, both on Shintar's blog and on Reddit. I hope that Bioware is following this valuable feedback closely. The post gives a rare insight into the current state and direction of flashpoints and prompted me to write down the following thoughts.

Tuesday 20 September 2016

SWTOR's Dark vs Light event: three months later

In my post SWTOR's Dark vs Light event and why it is ill-received by the community, I voiced my disappointment with how this event disregards oldtime players and lacks new content. I still stand by this, but the post came off more ranty than usual. That's what I get for posting it in the heat of the moment without proofreading, I guess (it was late and I just wanted to go to bed). Perhaps this is why people have reacted surprised when they hear that I have created two Dark vs Light characters. Although if they'd have truly read the post, they should not:
"I don't mind casually rolling a couple of characters to level them up through PvP (...). I might go for some of the lower tier rewards (...), but if LOTRO's raid turns out to be good and I can find some people to battle them with, I'll probably head over to there instead."
- Me
And that's exactly what I've done. Yes, I'd have rather seen a new flashpoint or a new raid than this event, but that's no reason to be sulky and sit in a corner doing nothing. I love group content, so that's what I've spent most time doing this summer, but I did find some time to create two Dark vs Light characters I love. So how did I do? (Spoiler: prepare to be not amazed.)

Friday 16 September 2016

LOTRO's Farmer's Faire 2016 in pictures

2016 Has somehow developed to "the year of LOTRO festivals" for me. Since my return to the game to try out the new raid and instances, I've begun to feel more involved with it again. Never before did I write so much about LOTRO festivals on Ravalation. I find myself participating in festivals I never tried before (usually because I didn't understand them or because they are around for only a short time): first the Buried Treasure event, and now the Farmer's Faire. Here's another photo report.

Friday 9 September 2016

Review: Cashtronauts

Once upon a time, I won the game Cashtronauts on a super awesome giveaway by Gamerwife. As I was too distracted by MMOs (story of my life) I must admit that it stayed dormant in my Steam library for a while (bad Rav!) until I finally got to try it out. Here's the verdict by an absolutely clueless gamer girl.

Monday 5 September 2016

Drawing diary: August

August has been a very busy month for me. Unfortunately, this means I don't have much to show you drawing wise. On the upside, it also means you won't have to dig through so much text for a change. If you find yourself thinking "more pictures, less talking, Rav", this post is for you!

I basically did two things this month:

Friday 2 September 2016

Fashion Friday: evil sith inquisitor

Today I'm sharing an outfit with you that, for a change, doesn't cost a billion credits on the galactic trade network by now and is relatively easy to get (provided you have a high level character) - but it still looks really awesome! And you don't have to take my word for it: just before posting this, I saw @Chitonfya post a screenie of their character with a similar dye on Twitter. What can I say, great minds...

The pretty girl with the emo make-up is my new Dark vs Light character Ravadis, a dark side assassin. She has been on my wishlist for a long time, because the female inquisitor's voice is just perfect for evil characters, but somehow all the inquisitors I made previously looked too cute to play pure dark side. Guess what? I'm loving it. Luckily I'm duoing with Marinka, so I have a shoulder to cry on when I feel bad about Ravadis' actions. We're such saints. But I should stop rambling, you want to know what the set pieces are already!

Wednesday 31 August 2016

LOTRO's Buried Treasure rewards

In my guide to Lord of the Rings Online's Buried Treasure event, or Treasure Hunt, I promised to post some pictures of the rewards. Shortly after, I got carried away taking pictures (no surprise there), so I reckoned I could just as well post them in a new article.

So here is all the stuff I dug up, as well as some thoughts on their visual appeal, bugs, BoA and RNG. You will see that the event has some great items for role-players and fashionistas, especially for dwarves, burglars and jewellers. Why then does lore-master Ravanel look so depressed on the picture above? Scroll down to find out.

Friday 26 August 2016

Guide to LOTRO's Treasure Hunt event

Lord of the Rings Online's Treasure Hunt event is one of the few I had not tried out yet. The event typically runs for a mere few days at a time and is irregular: considering my terrible track record of keeping up with LOTRO's event calender, it's maybe not so strange at all that I missed it thusfar.

Yesterday, I finally found myself hunting treasure in Ered Luin. And guess what, the event has some amazing rewards, especially for dwarf and burglar characters. I had no clue what to do at first, so I wrote this quick guide to help you get started. Don't worry, it's easy!

Monday 22 August 2016

Studying and keeping a blogging schedule

"Hey, I've found a way to know how you're doing!" my friend Marinka declared on voice chat. We just landed our evil inquisitor duo on Balmorra. "Oh?" I knew she meant 'without asking you'. I always know what she means. "Yeah, it's easy:" she continued, "if you don't blog for a while, things are obviously not well."

Monday 8 August 2016

Should you start playing SWTOR anno 2016? The game from an endgame perspective

Playing a lot of Lord of the Rings Online lately has had a strange side effect: four of our LOTRO gamer friends have now started playing Star Wars: the Old Republic. Discussions on voice chat about LOTRO's class balance and gear grind made Conrad and I bring up SWTOR. Our friends started out last week and three of them are aiming to hit level 50 already tonight, so they can come along for their first raid! Indeed, raiding was their primary decision to give the game a go. This got me thinking. What is it like to start playing SWTOR in 2016?

It is easy to forget how awesome the MMO you're playing is when you've played it for years, seen all the content and are waiting for new. I am also 'guilty' of this: in recent articles I've been criticizing the lack of new group content or plans to make it in SWTOR. When you are new to the game, though, there is much to see and the amount of content to play through is overwhelming. The current Dark versus Light event serves as an extra incentive for my new guildies to get to level cap faster.

Friday 5 August 2016

Drawing diary: July

Drawing for me is not just about skill, it's also a psychological challenge of sorts. You never know exactly what the result will be beforehand. It is addictive, yet damn scary. Confession time: there's always a barrier I need to pass before trying something new, even though I know I'm just drawing for my eyes only and nobody else would care if the result sucks. In July, I tried not to be a whimp and drew a lot of things just for the heck of it.

Of course I'm screwed, because I'm going to post them here for everyone to see even if I'm ashamed of the result myself! With my degree of perfectionism, I wouldn't end up posting anything otherwise. And it's always interesting to read you guys loving the things I hate, and vise versa.

Wednesday 3 August 2016

LOTRO's Summer festival 2016 in pictures

Just one more day and Lord of the Rings Online's Summer festival is already over (4 August). I never used to be such a fan of festivals in MMOs, but as I get older and undoubtedly more boring, I find myself strangely attracted to them. This Summer festival offered pretty new rewards (making to the total amount to pick from absolutely overwhelming) and cute new quests. I'll walk you through them with this Summer festival 2016 photo report.

Monday 1 August 2016

Playing Pokémon Go when chronically ill

One morning, about one year after I started Ravalation, I fell on the floor and couldn't get up again. It happened a few times that month, and ever since I'm experiencing chronic pain in my legs and extreme fatigue. An MRI scan revealed irreversible brain damage and from that moment onward it was clear my life would never be the same.

I will spare you the details of my journey onward, but for this article it's useful to mention that, as I had to give up most of the things I like doing, gaming suddenly became a more important part of my life than before. Physical activity makes me suffer more when in a lot of pain; gaming, however, requires little of it and creates a positive distraction so I am not aware of it as much. Due to my fatigue, I don't get out to meet people as much as I'd like anymore: I simply don't have the energy to spare. Voice chat allows me to still socialize with people on a regular base. I can definitely say gaming has saved me from isolation, in a way. But what about augmented reality?

If you read Ravalation regularly, you know that I loved the pokémon Game Boy games and that I couldn't wait to start playing Pokémon Go. There is one problem, though: the game revolves around moving around in the real, physical world to find pokémon, and it is necessary to walk distances to let eggs hatch. Because of this, I was a bit worried that I would not be able to enjoy the game. Nevertheless, I had to try. In this post I'll share my experiences of playing Pokémon Go while chronically ill. I am aware that everyone is affected differently by disabilities in some form or another and I definitely do not want to pretend that my story represents that of everyone in a similar situation! However, I could not write about my experience of playing Pokémon Go without mentioning my health: the two are strongly tied together. Thus I hope you'll forgive me that this post will be a bit more personal of nature than usual.

Monday 25 July 2016

Knights of the Eternal Throne: more of the same


Star Wars: the Old Republic's latest teaser about its newest Knights of the Eternal Throne (KOTET) expansion is just that: a teaser. We have a picture, a title and the promise that we'll fight for the eternal throne. Nevertheless, the announcement does reveal some things.

Friday 22 July 2016

An expedition through LOTRO's frills: before and after

With Lord of the Rings Online's latest big update, three things were added to the game: interior housing hooks, frills and a new raid. The topic of most discussion? Frills. These improved grass polls, flowers and shrubberies are meant to make the in-game world more lively and realistic. Indeed, they were already implemented in all post-Mirkwood regions upon creation, and now they've been added to vanilla areas as well.

But LOTRO wouldn't be an MMO if a part of its population wouldn't dislike these changes to their familiar regions. I was curious myself how much had actually changed and started an investigation. It took some effort, but I managed to dig up old screenshots of five regions and revisited each in-game. I'm posting the before picture first, then the after one, so you can easily compare them. Go ahead and judge for yourself!

Monday 18 July 2016

Drawing diary: June

In the early spring, my brother gave me his set of professional markers that he didn't use anymore. I had told him I had started drawing again and he was curious to see what I'd do with them. Frankly, I was, too. I had not used markers since I was a child and back then I hated the ugly lines they created when colouring something in. But these were professional markers, and I've seen a lot of fan artists do cool things with them.

For marker users this probably sounds stupid, but I just didn't know where to start! I'm so used to sketching things with pencil. So I went to "marker camp" (this is like boot camp, but in an Scandinavian forest, and you're only allowed to draw with markers for fun). The less cool-sounding version is: I went on holiday to Sweden and Denmark with family. So this will be a report kind of thing with drawings and pictures, and naturally I'll be fangirling about Sweden as well, because that's what I do.

Anyway, the boot camp result was way better than I'd dared to hope, so I can't wait to hear what you think!

Friday 15 July 2016

Pokémon, mobile phones and hype resistance

My latest blog post I'm dying to play Pokémon Go mostly got responses from fellow bloggers that said they did not grow up with pokémon and hence didn't understand what all the fuss is about. (I decided to take this as a compliment: I'm obviously young in spirit.) Bhagpuss even wrote a post in response entitled Why I'm Not Playing Pokémon Go (Like I Have To Have A Reason). Spoiler: it's because he doesn't own a phone. To keep up the tradition I'll now reply to him with another post about hypes and, err, phones. (I know, it's not exactly MMOs, but it'll have to do.) This is a lengthy one, so you're warned.

Monday 11 July 2016

I'm dying to play Pokémon Go

1 April 2014 I geeked out on Ravalation about Google's April Fool's joke of catching pokémon with your phone. You'll have to forgive me for using this drawing I made back then once more. I still can't believe it's reality now!

Like so many, I grew up with Pokémon. I never really liked the TV series (I was a bit too old, I guess), but I dug the Gameboy games. Pokémon Gold was the first game I bought in my life, after jealously watching my younger brother play Pokémon Red; he shared his Gameboy with me and let me train his pokémon sometimes, the sweetheart. I spent months working in the garden and doing all kinds of menial tasks to earn enough money to buy it, but it was so worth it!

Wednesday 6 July 2016

Six times yellow

It's the sixth again and that means another 6 on 6! If you don't know what that is, scroll down to the bottom of the post and it's explained there. I loved that this month's colour is yellow, because it's my favourite! At first I was having a hard time thinking of screenshots with yellow in it (I didn't want to go with something obvious such as six pictures of the sun), but eventually I think it worked out pretty well. Here you go.

Monday 4 July 2016

SWTOR and losing companions in MMOs: walking a thin line

Warning: this post contains spoilers for SWTOR's Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion up until Chapter XV (The Gemini Deception), as well as Mass Effect 1 and Dragon Age: Origins.

When I game, I love to immerse myself into fictional worlds. The same goes for companions: I get attached to them almost as if they are real people. So when a guildie accidentally implied that the newest KOTFE chapter would involve losing a companion, I considered playing through it on an alt I cared about less first, in case I made any wrong decisions. It made me think about how companions impact us and how they even more seem to do so in SWTOR than other Bioware games, to a point I'm delaying logging in, feeling stressed about playing and terrified at "doing it wrong"! Why do the developers make me suffer through this?

Friday 1 July 2016

The walk to Minas Tirith. A curious meeting with role-players

I was speed levelling my hunter, Ravereth. Not something I normally do, but I had promised to bring a level 65 to a nostalgia raid and I didn't have one. Now there was just one week left and still over ten levels to go. The epic quest urged me to talk to Elrond, but I had never been to Rivendell and couldn't take a swift horse there. The captain in Rivendell that I found with the /who command didn't respond to my polite request to summon me. Relunctantly I ported to Ost Guruth and mounted my own horse to make the trip manually. This would take much of my precious time.

It wasn't long before I passed a company of four players walking the road eastward. I blinked. They weren't running (the default movement for moving in MMOs), but actually walking. In other words, they were consciously moving about as slowly as possible, on a road with nothing to see. Curiosity got the better of me.

Monday 27 June 2016

SWTOR's Light vs Dark Event and why it is ill-received by the community


Friday my gaming circles were buzzing with news of my two favourite MMOs. Both Star Wars: the Old Republic and Lord of the Rings: Online announced new content on June the 28th. Or well, let's see about 'new'...

While my LOTRO friends were rejoicing at the news of a new raid coming out in four days already, I suddenly found my SWTOR friends all raging about this new Dark vs Light event. In fact, on my guild's Friday TeamSpeak gathering, people were more agitated about the event than Brexit! To be honest, I had no idea what they were talking about at first. Time to investigate.

Monday 20 June 2016

Lore-appropriate Voss names

In my previous Fashion Friday post (Fashion Friday: Like a Voss), I wrote a guide on how to create a head canon Voss character in Star Wars: the Old Republic. The guide focuses on how you can make your character look as physically close to a Voss as possible (as you cannot roll a character of the race officially in-game), but one thing was missing: how to name your Voss. I couldn't find any guide for Voss names, so I decided to do some research and write one myself. Here you go!

Friday 17 June 2016

Fashion Friday: Like a Voss

The Voss are not a playable race in Star Wars: the Old Republic, but I'm stubborn (old news, I know) and still wanted to play one. In this post I'll share some ideas on how to play a "head canon Voss character", using Voss inspired clothes, mounts and decorations as your tools. I've also researched Voss names, which you can read all about in the sequel: Lore-appropriate Voss Names. But this post is all about fashion and features my sorcerer Rava-Lae as a living example.

Monday 13 June 2016

Running with stealth poodles: a creative blogger award

It's that time of the year: I got hit by a creative blogger award. The person I need to thank for this honour (literally, it's in the "rules"!) is Shadowz of The Legacies in SWTOR: so thank you, Shadowz! Shortly afterwards I found out I got nominated by Pizza Maid as well, but I totally missed it. Epic fail, Rav. To make sure I wouldn't try to escape this one, I got knighted to "Ravanel: Literally the Last LOTRO Player in the World" by Targeter of Imperial Intelligence and burdened with the mission to accept that damn creative blogger award (even Constant Warfare chimed in). Which I will do now.

Friday 10 June 2016

Drawing diary: May

Following up on your enthusiastic response to my Soul-searching, the blogging edition post, I'll be posting the drawings I've made in May today. Yes, especially to annoy you, unsuspecting gamer reader! Okay, not really. It's more an attempt to motivate myself to draw more. After all, in order to be able to post drawings monthly, I'll actually have to draw something. This is a waterproof plan, I'm sure of it!

Monday 6 June 2016

Six times brown

It's the sixth, so it's time to delve into the screenie archive and delve up to brown ones! Many of the games I enjoy take place in a realistic, natural setting with lots of shades of brown, so this one didn't take very long. Enjoy!

Friday 3 June 2016

NBI 2016: Some initial directions

He's one month later than usual, but the red dragon is back in town, bringing along with him the famous Newbie Blogger Initiative (NBI). For those new to the scene: the NBI is a month of old time gaming bloggers supporting new gaming bloggers, offering advice and exposure. Ever wondered if having a blog of your own would be something for you? This would be the perfect time to take the dive. We old timers know what a big step it can be and will help you in any way we can.

Monday 30 May 2016

Soul-searching, the blogging edition

A few prompts were floating about in the gaming blogosphere earlier this month that I wanted to reply to, but I never got around to it. One was Tyrannodorkus' post How you can use gaming to explore your love for writing and Rakuno's response Why I write. The other was the revelation of some well-known bloggers that they were playing with the thought of giving up on blogging altogether (check Liore, Belghast, Waiting For Rez). That gave me a good scare. They seem to reflect totally opposing sentiments, but somehow in my mind they make a connection by expressing the two conflicting feelings I have about blogging - sometimes even at the same time, to make things even more confusing.

Friday 27 May 2016

LOTRO hairstyles I'd love for my characters

It's happened to me before and it will happen to me again: bumping into an NPC in Lord of the Rings Online that looks better than your own character. Player customizations barely got upgraded after the initial launch of the game back in 2007, while the developers did keep improving the looks of their NPCs. In this post I'll be sharing some NPC hair styles that I'd love to see in-game for characters one day (but they're not there yet, unfortunately).

Tuesday 24 May 2016

Female nerdism

Scrolling through the feed of the Female Geek Blogger group, my eye caught a post that was different from the usual positive fangirl posts. In My Kind of Nerd, Healthy.Nappy.Nerdy.Mommy writes:

"Many people hate the kind of nerd I am. I did not grow up reading comics and don’t know all the details, and the issue, of every comic, that every character has appeared. I developed my love of superheros, anime, and other nerdy interest late in life."

Here, I paused. The first question that came to my mind was "who are these people that hate newbie comic enthusiasts?" I suspect they would not approve of my own 'nerd score' either. Reading this article made me realize I'm living in a sheltered blogging circle where all people I meet are open minded and supporting.