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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

When MMO love is complicated. The ambiguous relationship of a seasoned raider with LOTRO


I have an ambiguous relationship with Lord of the Rings Online: I seem to be part of an eternal cycle of embracing and rejecting the game. On the one hand, virtual Middle Earth calls to me, always. I love immersing myself in its gorgeous landscapes and if there's something new, I want to check it out. On the other hand, it's hard for me (as a seasoned MMO progression raider) to ignore fundamental flaws in its combat system. For reasons already stated elsewhere, the gameplay simply isn't what it used to be.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Green inspired screenshots from virtual Middle-earth

The Shire

It's Five Fandom Friday, and that means another geeky post! This week's topic was the Green Photo Challenge, and the participants were stimulated to share 5 green inspired photos in honour of St. Patrick's Day. In what is by now Ravalation tradition, I decided to go with screenshots instead, and Lord of the Rings Online was the first game that came to my mind.

LOTRO is my go-to game when I want to immerse myself in beautiful landscapes. Even though it's a pretty old MMO by now that has been overtaken graphics wise by new games, there's something about its landscapes that makes it feel more lively and 'real' than any game world I've visited. Perhaps it's the beautiful skies and weather mechanics. Or I'm just biased because I'm a huge Tolkien fan. Either way, here are five pretty green screenies from virtual Middle-earth.

Monday, 13 March 2017

The solution to command crate schematic OCD

Disintegrate all the things!*

I have a confession to make: I suffer from command crate OCD. You know those schematics that drop from command crates? Well, I want to collect them all. And because they typically drop on a character with a different crafting profession that they're meant for, I kept logging over and over to check my alts before I decided to claim or disintegrate them. It was starting to drive me crazy.

I was probably in the process of complaining about it when Conrad showed me a spreadsheet he made of all the armor schematics that drop from command crates. It was brilliant! I quickly got to work and added tabs for cybernetics, relics and weapons, so the document truly covered all schematics that can drop from the crates. Then I filled it with X's of the schematics I already had and pinned the document to my taskbar. No more relogging to alts when opening command crates!

I'm sharing the empty file here with you, just in the off chance that you suffer from command crate OCD as well and want to make your life easier.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Drawing diary: February


This Drawing diary is not what you're used to: I decided to try something different and did some abstract painting. So you've been warned!

It all started when I stumbled upon Tara Leaver's post How to make a simple abstractified painting. In it was an extremely helpful video that showed how Tara sets up her abstract paintings. I loved this. It happens quite often that I see an artist post something cool and inspiring and I just don't get how they did it. Seeing someone actually go through the whole process is priceless.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Three months of Galactic Command from the perspective of an endgame raider


It's been over three months since the highly controversial Galactic Command system was introduced to Star Wars: the Old Republic. When it was first announced, I thought I could live with a bit more grind in the game (SWTOR was very light on grind compared to any MMO I've played) and I could see how it would benefit a larger part of the populace (namely it would give people who don't raid the chance to get gear). It was also hard to imagine how much grind there would actually be. So even though it was clear to me that Galactic Command would be a step back for me personally (as an endgame raider), I gave the system the benefit of the doubt. I was wrong.

Monday, 6 March 2017

LOTRO housing updates: a review


Lord of the Rings Online received two updates to player housing in 2016. A few weeks ago, February 2017, it received a third. I didn't write about the changes to the housing system before, but they're quite good and much celebrated in the community. So it's about time for a full review.