Tuesday, November 30, 2010

When you feel for the NPC's

Going to a movie isn't just going into a movie, it's a chance to throw myself into the world and situations that are presenting themselves on the big screen for 2 hours, and for some strange reason I get emotionally attached what's happening ... Unless the movie is total crap, than I shed tears of regret for the $10 bucks I just spent.

Games are sort of the same thing, not that I get all blubbery anytime my burglar dies in Lord of the Rings, or the captain and crew of my starship in Star Trek Online dies in a horrible ball of FLAME and MOLTEN METAL.   No .. because, it's part of the game, part of how we get better as a player.    But sometimes there is a moment when I wish I didn't have to 'off' some npc (non-playable character).   

Like when I'm getting rid of bandits around Bree, and my burglar thrusts his dagger into a female npc ... there is a certain sound effect ... like the 'last breath' that you can hear .. that does have a sobering affect on me.   Are there times when the story of a game, or the npc's do some sort of action, or the game makes you do questionable things, that you just have to take a breath and go "Does this feel right?   Why is my character doing this?"

Does your belief system, the way your ideals are shaped, do they come into play in your video game time??

If your always playing the bad guy, if you like 'darker roles', if you like 'beating up the good guys' in games .. Is that reflective of who you are as a person?

How far can we dis-associate ourselves from the characters we play, the movies we watch, or the books/comics we read?

Stuff to reflect on.

The Lotro Store

Ah, the Lotro store, the place to exchange real money for fake goods.   Like the new 'Steed of Night' shown to the left.   A steed that looks funky, has the same attributes as a rep. mount, but is only available in the store, for one night only for $20 in real money.   OUCH!   Now Lord of the Rings Online isn't the only game that has a store, you can buy mounts in World of Warcraft, Star Trek Online.   etc.  but those companies allow all your characters to own the horse, spaceship etc.   Now, truth be told, when I realized that Lotro was selling this steed, my first inclination was 'gotta catch'em all' ... because, it's new and shiny, and it'll go with my other steeds in Lotro.   But after careful thought, and by the time my mind caught up to my wallet, I realized that I will pass on this mount. If you want a cool mount, get your rep up with the elves, or men, or wait for the winter festival.

That's not to say that I never spent money in the Lotro store.   But you've gotta draw the line somewhere.   So save your points/money for the important stuff in lotro ... like wardrobe space, virtues that you dread to grind in Moria ... and cool costumes (because with the wardrobe system, all your characters can wear your new duds ... and fashion counts ;)  ) but pass on silly and costly items like this.    Other things to pass on ... potions, crafting gear, food, festival items.  

Anyway, that's my take on it.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Team Lotro..

Fairly slow going this week, dealing with a pulled Achilles Heel and going to Physiotherapy to get it all sorted out, oh the fun.   I'm just glad for health benefits.   Other than that, everything is going ok.   I picked up the Expendables on Blu-ray.  The Expendables (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) such a great movie, and one of my favs of the summer.   Warning though, the violence can be in excess, but if you like action flicks, this is one of the better ones you can find.   I really enjoyed the behind the scenes documentary's.   I thought that Sly was a spiritual person, because both the Rocky series, and the last Rambo movie had a spiritual undertone, but apparently he isn't.   I find I need to pray for the guy.   I think he takes the role of tough guy a little too serious.   Is it just me, or does Stallone handling a cigar just .. seem weird. Still, it's fun stuff.

Actually was in a group tonight doing some sort of Loth medallion quest  ...I WAS IN A GROUP!!  It was fun.   First time I've been invited to group in like.. must be 5 months.  Surprisingly my internet connection held up.   I couldn't believe how much fun it was to be involved in a Lord of the Rings fellowship.   Cool stuff, and we conquered pretty good until the last boss (on hard mode).  Anyway, it's funny how long I've been soloing my burg 'Pojoh', and how much I missed the grouping aspect of LOTRO.   Good stuff.

Work is crazy, actually side-swiped a fellow staff meember's car with the 'company' van.  "OUCH!" .... we exchanged paint, and the other staff member was VERY forgiving.   Needless to say, this morning was pretty rough on my mental state.   I believe that was my first incident with our vans in like 20 years.   It's downhill from here folks.

This weekend plans to be a boring one, filled with much boredom.   An incoming Snowsquall doesn't help the situation either. I can say that I honestly don't miss the youth center that I used to work at, but I'm finding that I'm slowly going nuts NOT filling my nights with something.  It's weird considering that I've only been away from my old job for ALMOST 2 months.   I used to think that I would be the kind of person that would love to live as a hermit in some secluded place.  But  that's not the case.   Even with working throughout the week.

On the positive side, my other blog ... thenarthax.blogspot.com is going steadily, and keeping up the devotional routine is going better than expected.   check it out, updated daily :)

Ok, time to hit the sack.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Classic Star Trek Weapons for Yoti..

Ok, played with the new CLASSIC star trek weapons that I received for completing the Devidian episode of Star Trek Online... Classic Phaser, and Classic rifle (from the 'Cage' I believe)

The above is of course the phaser.  Now the rifle...

How awesome is THAT!!  Anyways, not only is the rifle cool, but it does decent damage as well.

Season 3 is coming out soon, early December I think.   When it is released, that will be the time to pick this game up if you haven't already.  Big changes happening to Sector Space, and the chance to create your own Star Trek episode.  Ok, the 'Foundry' as it will be called won't have all the features, but we will be able to dabble in it, until the full release comes out a couple weeks later.  Very cool.

STO tip of the day (or week, depending when I can get down to do these)... Remember, deal with the Targ Masters first, everything else second.   Crazy Klingon dogs with otherwise continue to respawn throughout you battles.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Back to STO ...

Finally played Star Trek Online, which seems like forever, especially considering the final episode of the Dividian storyline is out. The last chapter was amazing, and again, just wrapped everything up nicely.

It was a nice surprise to get the 300 day veteran reward (300 days of actual logging in), and I have some neat fireworks that can blast into space. The fire works are decent, not the cheap graphic version found in Lord of the Rings Online.

Speaking of LOTRO, I still need to get back and finish getting my tailor crafting done, but there doesn't seem to be enough time to do all of it.

I am still playing that uber secret beta testing game, and it's alot of fun, but still far from finished. Graphically, its something to geek out about. If you like action, this will be the one to check out. But, I can't say anymore, so I won't.

On the job front, still getting lots of hours at Community Living, worked every day this week, and I'm preaching this Sunday. I think I got the topic picked out, just need to get it all down on paper.

More on that another time.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam Blu-ray Review - Blu-ray Review at IGN

Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam Blu-ray Review - Blu-ray Review at IGN

Superman, Shazam, and Black Adam ... oh my?

Ok, lets face it, DC Comics/WB brings out really good, even amazingly awesome animated movies.   I usually buy any of them that come out, because their storyline and animation is just terrific, and the characters are top-notch.    THIS one looks great, it's got Superman (yea, used too much, but it's Superman), Shazam, and Black Adam ... who in his own right is so freaking vicious on the comic page.    So I was about to pick it up, and I find out that it's an animated 'short' movie.  


I'm going to pay close to $30 for a short movie?   Oh, btw, it does contain their previous shorts: Green Arrow, Jonah Hex, and the Spectre ... all with additional footage.   But still ... $30???

Ok, now what gets me is that they (WB) is thinking this is a neat package, new buyers are going to come and pick out this blu-ray (or dvd).   I think they don't realize that a person is only going to pick this up, IF they've picked up the other movies.   This is a FAN BOY thing.   Why would I spend that much money on a short film (and lets face it folks, their feature length movies only last 65-80 minutes) that contains other short films that I've already seen?   I think WB is milking the cash cow of their animated flicks through this offer.

I am going to see this sometime, but either it's going to be in 5 months from now, where I can get it cheap for 10 bucks, or I'll get it for Christmas.

Until then, I'll be watching Iron Man 2 again ... until next week when 'The Expendables' comes out.

Oh, finally the Avatar Blu-ray came out .. with all the extended stuff and extra's.  Funny, though, I've been waiting for this movie to come out, but  have no real desire to pick it up.   BTW, can somebody tell me the logic in, why the DVD version contains 3 disks ... and the Blu-ray version contains 3 disks?   It's BLU-RAY ... the whole point of this new technology was the amount of data these disks can hold.   Why not just stick everything on ONE DISK??   I have a theory ... THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE, and it's a straight copy.  Why else?  Anyone?

Talk'n about NPC's

How important is voice-over work in a game?   Since the dawn of video gaming, we have endured the 'text-speak', npc's that you couldn't hear, but you would have to read streams and streams of dialogue.  Any Final Fantasy gamer is used to it, and lets face it... THIS was one of the 'Positive' aspects of gaming that you can espouse to people  "Games aren't junk, they help in reading skills."   True though that may be... slowly the gaming landscape is changing  ... especially in the MMO genre.   Next year Star Wars the Old Republic is promising full voice-over work, on EVERY single piece of dialogue.   All professionally done.   But it's not the only one, though I think it will raise the bar in immersion, and believability of the game.   DC Universe Online also promises to use the actors from the JLA cartoon series, and add voice to the hero's.   I think that once we hear and experience these games, it will be hard to go back.

But don't worry, MMO's will continue to produce material that we have to read, but it's like the difference between regular television, and HD-TV.   Yea, you can always go and play World of Warcraft, or Final Fantasy, or Lord of the Rings Online.  ... that's cool.   But if the new games coming out Play really well, look amazing, and give the feeling of immersion, it will be hard to go back.

Friday, November 12, 2010

From WOW to STO :) .. dedicated to a friend.

Loved World of Warcraft, but glad I'm done with it.   I enjoy STO, it's a nice change of fantasy pace.   I actually found a couple machinima vids from this guild.  Thought I'd bring them out for all to enjoy.

Dabo Dabo Dabo - http://www.sanct-guild.com

This neat vid is a nice ode to Dabo.. basically Star Trek Roulette.  It's especially funny when you realize in the game that there is not much strategy in picking 3 numbers, and letting the wheel roll.   Unfortunately in the game you can only bet 100 credits per roll.   The stuff that you can get with Gold Pressed Latinum costs from 100,000 to 500,000 Latinum.   Therefore, you can see people playing this simple game, to just get a major (cosmetic) item.   This is a nice mockery of Dabo.  Good job guys :)


Ahh Fridays, the beacon of sun in a cloudy week.   Today's adventure of mine started with my daily devotional in Mark, which is at thenarthax.blogspot.com, and then checking my email.   Low and behold, I'm invited to play a closed beta of a really cool game.   Unfortunately the download is like 12.7 GB, and on my internet speed, this is going to take some time to accomplish.   I'm thinking that I should have it downloaded sometime on Monday.  

But, I'm really stoked to get into the closed beta of this game, and once more I'm just a little peeved at my Internet Provider for being so slow, and not really doing anything to speed up the system.  *sigh*.   The IP is now charging different fees for use, and I'm considering NOT using their internet service, swallow the $15 monthly (and yes I'm on contract) fee, and just try to switch to a mainline provider like Rogers.   But, we'll see.   It's kind of hard to complain about internet speed so much, when most of the world is struggling to survive through some sort of natural disaster, or just trying to find something to eat.   Perspective can help in making one conscious of their blessings.

Speaking of blessings, I went over to Kincardine to visit my brother.   Such a great town, with a boardwalk that meanders along the shore of Lake Huron.   Today's weather being VERY fantastic, and the great walk was really refreshing.   If you want to see a town that knows how to preserve their waterfront, this is the one.   I'm on a budget so we went to McD's for lunch.. always have room for a Big Mac.

When I came home, I saw that my comp. downloaded 2.7g of the patch, so that's cool.    Tomorrow I'll be heading over to Hanover and mix it up with some peeps.   aka, eating crap, watching movies, and eating more crap.   Should be great.   I'll try to cut down on the crap.   It goes through me, and I, in turn, have to crap.

I'll probably head to Sauble Beach for Church on Sunday, and check out their more contemporary service.   It'll be a nice change to worship with people my age and younger.   Something about having young people worship that really excites my spirit.   I think the bigger worry is getting up in time to do my devotional before Church.    I almost wrote down 'we'll see' again.   I feel very lackadaisical today.  

Last thing I need to do today, finish watching 'Flash Gordon'   Such a great '80's movie.   Of course what made it great was Queen doing the soundtrack.   Really cheesy movie, that I don't think could every be redone.

Ok, now off to check out a Star Trek -Machinima video... if it's any good I'll post it here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Perspective on Remembrance Day...

Something that I heard from a Pastor on Sunday, that helps put things in perspective .. Note that I have the highest admiration for those who serve in our military, and who have passed away in line-of-duty but .. In World War 1 and 2 combined, there was just over 100,000 Canadian casualties.  That's over 8 years of military service (not including peace keeping, anti-terrorist missions since then).   In Canada we surpass that amount in Abortions in just the span of 2 years.  

Lest We Forget.

Why I like Jupiter Broadcasting.

http://www.jupiterbroadcasting.com/   Is a great site for many things, but especially for all things Star Trek Online related.   These guys have been doing this online tv for quite awhile, and have some geeky things to watch.

Check out their STOked episode, and also tons of other shows that include items like Linux, and Beer.

Hmm.. lifetime subscriptions.

Lifetime subscriptions to MMO's have their appeal to gamers.   Especially if you know for sure that your going to get your money out of 'em.  There are only 2 games that I have personally paid for the lifetime subscriptions; Lord of the Rings Online, and Star Trek Online.    Thank goodness for that, because I play both of these game regularly and they are both healthy mmo's .. meaning that after I paid for their lifetime subscriptions, the companies didn't fold up shop and leave their customers high and dry.

I was checking out the news today, and Champions Online is offering a lifetime subscription service, for the first time in a year.   Now generally speaking, I'm all for giving gamers the option for lifetime subscriptions ... but for the last 2 weeks the 'BIG' announcement from Cryptic studios was that Champion's Online was going to free-to-play.   FREE-TO-PLAY!!  I know that there are certain perks that are coming with lifetime memberships, like NOT buying all the upgrades to the game, a foxbat 'pet', and 2 retro costumes.   But is it really worth it?

For some who are regularly playing this game now .... it might be a decent deal, but even then, it would be hard pressed for people to buy into.   Especially for a game that is short on story for the long haul.

In my own opinion, I think this is a move to get people into their game before DC Universe Online launches.   Because for once .. Sony is taking its time with an MMO game, and is releasing DCU when it's ready, and when it's ready, it is going to be the big kahuna in the Superhero mmo landscape.    Why?

  1. It's got history, charm and it's the DC Universe!
  2. Professional voice actors.
  3. A Storyline.
  4. It is Console friendly ... the reason to consider getting a PS3.
  5. So far ... all signs lead to a polished released product.
  6. A chance to have your character appear in an actual LEGITIMATE comic book!!
Here is what Champions ONLINE needs to do in my humble opinion:
  1. Scrap the crafting ... it is really more confusing than helpful.   
  2. Have a storyline that makes sense, and that people can get behind.
  3. Have an environment that is conducive to the rpg crowd.
  4. Hook up with a comic book company ... even for 6 issues.   Build a legitimate rep with the comic book community.
  5. Lifetime subscriptions need real incentive.  aka.  Your own super hero pad, or sidekick.
So for now, Champions Online will have to wait for my $$.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Still around...

Ok, I haven't blogged for a bit, and I'm trying to write 50,000 words in a month.   Guess what?  I don't think the writing this is going to happen, as too much stuff is happening in my life.   Between work and gaming, seriously, who can even think about writing?!?!  Anyway, just to mumble some stuff on page, I'll let you know how the gaming thing is going:

Lord of the Rings Online:  My Burg (Pojoh) on Firefoot server (rpg? what rpg?) is now kindred with the Inn League.. and is now enjoying tromping around the world on a drunken steed!   I like this horse, as it's got like 4 kegs of ale on it's hind quarter.   I tend to think that all horses should have kegs of frothing ale on their hind quarters, but hey that's just me.     Also, i completed another virtue in the 'Discipline' line, and while I did that (in Sinaur?!?) I also picked up enough first age tokens, to make my burg kindred to Thorin's Hall... there was much celebration!!  Ok so now I'm in Eregion (ARAGON??) and killing wolves and nasty wargs for another mark toward my discipline trait.   Good stuff.  

Also, I got my Turbine Loot for the store today, which went toward wardrobe space.   Hopefully the wardrobe comes with a secret passage way into Narnia!!  Barring that though, it will be good to empty my chests of clothes.   Remember, in middle-earth, ya gotta look good to be good!!  So, all this happened in the last 2 days, as you can tell, I've been busy gaming.

Star Trek Online:  The Devidian Series: Episode 4 was released.   These episodes are amazingly well done, and really, if you have doubts about Star Trek Online, just get to level 10, and play these episodes.   The story is great, and everything about them really shines geeky Star Trek-i-dom.   At the end of Episode 4 you get a cool retro laser for your starship, which LEVELS AS YOU LEVEL.   So awesome.   I've finished the episode with my tactical captain 'Yoti' (pictured in the previous blog), and now going through it with my Admiral, Pojoh.

Ok, there you have it.

Oh, before you leave, I have a new blog centered around my faith.   Whether it's CD reviews, bible studies or whatever, check it out, it's called "the Narthax" ... hmm, which is not only a meeting place in Churches, but an amazing name in itself ... must be Klingon. ;)