The Big C

Feb. 9th, 2019 04:09 am
mellicious: pink manicure (nails)
Well, so the biopsy was positive. I am actually not completely freaking out about it because it's very minor, as cancer goes. It's small and it's away from the chest wall (which apparently is good) and there's no lymph node involvement (I know that's good, it has to do with the way cancer can spread, for one thing) - I just have to have a lumpectomy. And that's really all I know right now. I have an appointment with the surgeon next week so that's when I'll know more.

I didn't tell anybody but Rob and my boss and my sister, so far. I definitely want as few people as possible to know at work because I don't want to have to deal with a million questions about it. Thank goodness for HIPAA, because I can tell you from personal experience that in the old days everybody in the whole hospital knew everything, pretty much immediately. It's a small town, where I work. (Far as I know, nobody I know in real life follows me here, so I'm not worried about you guys.)

I had a bad feeling about it - the first radiologist I talked to acted like it was probably nothing, but then after that I could just tell from the way they were talking that it sounded more worrisome. Then I got a call this morning from a doctor (rather than a nurse) and by the time I woke up he had called several times. So that didn't sound like it was going to be good news. But cancer is not the death sentence it used to be, in general. I've even managed to completely forget about this whole thing for long stretches of the day today.

Um, as far as the rest of life, I'm still playing Covet Fashion with my sister - have I talked about this here? and my god, is she competitive. I'm actually getting pretty good scores though so I may give her more of a run for her money than she expected. Also I finally went to my second movie of 2019 and it was a repeat - Into the Spider-verse. I liked it even better the second time. We will probably go see the Lego thing this weekend but we are waiting til Sunday night so there will hopefully be fewer kids.
mellicious: "I'm bored. Episode 1 bored." (star wars)
 Not really bored, I just wanted a Star Wars icon. Honestly right now I seem to keep finding entirely too many ways to waste time, which is partly why I'm behind on Holidailies.

Yesterday we went to see "Coco" and I don't know why I didn't expect to like it so much, but I really did. They did a good job of sticking with the themes and the traditions (as well as I'm able to judge) of Dia de los Muertos as well as just using the color scheme and the skeletons, as some things seem to do. (I haven't seen "The Book of Life" so I'm not secretly comparing that or anything.) It was a two-hanky movie, at least for me, but you can't make a movie about family and death without some tears, I guess. (Well, I take that back, somewhat - I'm sure you could, but this is Pixar we're talking about.)

We were going to go to the mall today but I woke up with a headache and Rob said he was just fine with staying home. We may go to the mall or we may just go out to eat tomorrow - Rob has two days off so I feel like we ought to do something or other. (I wanted to go to Paper Source, was why I suggested going to the mall. But now I can't remember the particular reason I wanted to go to Paper Source anyway.)

One of the things I've been wasting time on is Portal Knights - terraforming in Portal Knights seems to be how I destress, these days. I also have been spending a really ridiculous amount of time reorganizing my Pinterest boards since I got the new "sections" feature. I think that's how I always wanted Pinterest to be arranged. And I had a lot of boards and a lot of pins so it's taking a while. Still a work in progress, though.

(I was happy to see that the early reviews on "The Last Jedi" were positive. I guess we will go see it Saturday if we can get in. I said I was going to buy the tickets ahead and I still haven't done it. A far cry from two years ago when I bought the tickets over a month ahead!)
mellicious: Photo of a road framed by trees (spring trees)
I have some screenshots of one game (Portal Knights) and I'm also still playing Marvel Heroes a bit. In Marvel Heroes (I almost said Marvel Knights - I think that's a comic, right? but it's not the name of either game) June is "birthday" month in MH and is marked with lots of giveaways, so that's always fun, and because of that I've gone back to playing more. I've already used some of those goodies to unlock some of the heroes that still were locked - Doctor Doom, Emma Frost, Cable - and then by coincidence, I got a "enhanced" costume which turns Spider-Man into Spider-Gwen (one of the two female versions), so to use that, I have to finally unlock Spider-Man, which I've avoided doing all this time. You unlock characters using Eternity Splinters, which are falling like rain (more or less) right now, so it won't take me long. Spider-Man has never interested me all that much and he's one of a handful of characters that are more expensive than the rest, which is why I haven't bothered before. (There are something like 62 heroes total right now, and I have over 50 unlocked. In fact the Spider-Gwen costume was not part of the birthday stuff, but rather was a reward for having leveled 50 heroes to maximum. I have a couple unlocked but still not leveled, which means I only have maybe 8 left to unlock after Spider-Man. But with several still to level that's not going to be a priority for a while.)

Switching over to the other game, Portal Knights has been in beta for a while and just came out very recently, and Col has been playing it but I was involved in Marvel Heroes and wasn't paying too much attention. Then it went on sale and Col bought it for me as a gift because he thought I would like it, which was really nice of him! It's sort of like Trove in that it's got the Minecraft-style building component and it's also got some questing/PvE to it - a little more actual story than Trove had, as I recall.

Fort Finch house (Portal Knights)
This house was already here in the game, although it required some repairs. It's considerably more elaborate than anything I would have built on my own. There was a lake between the spawn point and the house, so I built a bridge. The lake was originally higher than this, but I think I accidentally drained a lot of the water out! (Then I planted crops all over the former lake bottom.) - If you know what to look for, there's also some creatures at the back of that water area. The orange things are slime creatures and there's probably some turtles and a sort of mobile plant thing. I think they were originally spawning up at the top behind where they are now, and they migrated. (I built a doohickey which I can't remember the proper name of - and you can't see it because it's around on the back side of the house - which keeps anything from spawning near it. I put it up because tired of having angry turtles in my virtual front yard! It covers a pretty big area, so I think those guys are probably spawning right at the edge of its range. They don't come near enough to bother me where they are now.)

Here's a shot inside the house that's really not too interesting. I didn't make much in the way of changes to this floor - I just added some chests and stuff for storage.
Fort Finch house - 1st floor

That thing on the wall is a trophy - that's the head of one of the mobile plants that I was talking about. This is not a big room, you're seeing most of it. There are stairs which originally just went up, and a fireplace, and there were originally some chairs which I moved.

(I was going to add more pictures to this, but I hit enter by accident (again!) and so I'll do the rest in a separate post later.)
mellicious: pink manicure (retro-style holiday lights)
Well, the junk first of all: If you went to movies a lot in the '80s, like we did, this is a stupendously easy quiz. (A 50-question quiz that 11% of people get 100% right can't be too difficult, after all.) (I did have to guess on a couple, but they don't even make guessing terribly hard. I am kinda the queen of the educated guess.)

We went to see Rogue One again (still love it) and ate lasagne and watched the first episode of Stranger Things. That was our Christmas Eve. Honestly, it beats most Christmas Eves cold, at least the ones of recent years. Tomorrow we have to do the family stuff. I've washed my hair and I need to do my nails and I'm sure I'll think of ten other highly-important things I have to do before bedtime. I can't much make myself care, though.

Stranger Things was pretty awesome, although more of you probably know much more about it than I do. (Does that sentence make any sense at all? I'm not sure, but I'm leaving it like that anyway.) We finished Jessica Jones yesterday (also awesome) and I told Rob that we could watch Stranger Things next if he wanted before we go on to Luke Cage. I don't know that Rob knew anything at all about it, but *I* knew that he would love Stranger Things, it's totally right up his alley. (Speaking of '80s.) It's very, um, early Steven Spielberg crossed with Stand By Me. Or something like that.

Col and I played Marvel Heroes for a while. He is playing Luke Cage and is surprised that he likes it. I liked Luke too (not to mention that he's stupendously hot in Jessica Jones, but I hadn't seen that yet when I was playing him) so I'm not too surprised. Oh, having seen Jessica Jones TV now, I realized suddenly what she's wearing in the game, the other day - it's the "Jewel" superhero outfit that Trish is seen in the series trying to get her to wear. She's been standing talking to Ben Urich in Avengers Tower since I've been playing, and I always wondered what the hell that was she was wearing. (I believe you can also play Jessica as a team-up but I haven't tried it; I'm pretty sure she's wearing something else in that incarnation. And Ben Urich in this game is a younger-looking white guy, in contrast to the older black guy who's in the first season of Daredevil. Reconciling all this now that I've watched half - exactly half - of the existing Marvel Netflix stuff is kind of weird.)

Also (still on the Marvel Heroes track) I spent some money on costumes last week and I now have the girl version of Thor and a couple of Christmas costumes (Daredevil and Squirrel Girl). I'm probably going to feel like I wasted my money on Christmas costumes later but I really like the female Thor. There are actually two female Thors; the other one is Jane Foster (who I think becomes Thor for a while in the comics?) but the one I'm using is the Earth X version, which I really know nothing at all about. She says something about Loki having tricked her into the new body (but she also says she kind of likes it.) Either I read somewhere or Col told me (I have no idea which) that this version, or maybe both versions, won't let anybody call her Lady Thor or anything like that; she's just Thor, still. That's about all I know about that, although I'm interested that they bothered to do two different female voices for Thor. He has a buttload of costumes, too (although not as many as Iron Man) - some of the male ones might have "enhanced" (aka different, rerecorded) voices, too, for all I know. I haven't paid much attention. But I tried playing regular Thor with the default costume and I stalled out about level 30-something. So I was hoping that the different take on Thor would propel me along, and it has - well, I'm still not all that far along in story progression but she hit level 60 tonight, so that's definitely an improvement. I'm not sure why it makes that much difference, exactly, but apparently it does.

OK, that's enough for tonight. I need to go do my nails. Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas, or other holiday/nonholiday of your choice. Or Christmas Eve Gift, as my grandma used to say. (Family phrase of unknown origin; I think I end up explaining that one pretty much every year.)
mellicious: pink manicure (buffy quote - death star)
Some movie and movie-related(-ish) stuff, starting with the Rogue One tickets. I'm excited about this and apparently so is Rob - at least, when the trailer came on for it the other day, he looked over at me and said, "Next week?" "Next week, yeah," I said. I didn't buy the tickets a month ahead like I did with The Force Awakens, but we've got them now and I'm excited. This is Christmas, to me. They did de-embargo the reviews today, apparently, because it went from "no reviews" last night on Rotten Tomatoes to 83% today, so yay. If it'd been 30% like Suicide Squad I would probably have gone anyway, but I'm glad it's not.

I know I've talked about this several times, but the movie theater we go to is a bit atypical (or maybe it just seems that way to me). It's Premiere Cinemas, a small chain. They own theaters in Texas and a few other places around the South. They started in this area, I think, because they used to just have a handful of theaters, including the one in my hometown, which I notice is not listed any more (so that probably means they sold it somewhere along the line). They've built some theaters from scratch in places that were "underserved" for movies (including Galveston, which for quite a few years didn't have a movie theater at all) and in our general area they also have the "dollar theater," which is on the freeway right next to the big Cinemark. We go to the dollar one a good bit (I forget, I think the tickets are actually about $2 except on certain weekdays that are cheaper) but mostly for first-run movies, we go to the one that's in the next town over from us. I started to say it's a small-town theater, but that's actually not true - in fact it's in one of those fast-growing suburbs that's coming up on 100,000 residents or so. Still, it's like a small-town theater: it's in a strip center, it's hardly ever terribly crowded like the Cinemark is, and it's cheaper. Even for things like The Force Awakens, we did have to stand and wait for a few minutes for that one, but nothing like the chaos I've experienced at other theaters. So I'm expecting to get into Rogue One without much trouble, too. It's about equidistant for us to go to the Cinemark or to go in the opposite direction to the Premiere, but the only time we go to the Cinemark these days is if we want to see something that's not showing at Premiere. (The Cinemark has 18 screens to this particular Premiere location's six.)

I've been playing Squirrel Girl in Marvel Heroes and I was amused to see a Squirrel Girl reference in today's Questionable Content. I wasn't sure I would like playing SG but I do. For one thing, there are a few heroes that I can't play because the things they say (each character has a limited number of these and so you end up hearing them a lot) annoy me so much I can't stand it. (The #1 example there is Invisible Woman, who's basically a nagging mother, in a really obnoxious way.) But Squirrel Girl's comments still just seem funny to me, where IW's are clearly intended to be funny but are actually funny maybe once, and then not at all after that. Squirrel Girl is also massively overpowered, as befits somebody who's supposed to have beaten both Doctor Doom and Thanos, and that also makes her pretty fun. Plus, y'know, massed squirrel attacks are just sort of inherently funny, and I'm surprised at how much I continue to think so even after a couple of weeks of it.

And then I haven't mentioned that we went to see Dr Strange again last weekend. It was my third time and Rob's second - I think that he liked it better the second time because he knew what to expect. As I think I discussed previously - yup - Marvel Heroes taught me plenty of background on the doctor - and the Wand of Watoomb and the Mindless Ones and other assorted Strange trivia - so that was never an issue for me. I still enjoyed the heck out of it, myself. (Rob is kind of hard to read, even for me, sometimes, have you figured that out?)


Dec. 1st, 2015 09:36 pm
mellicious: Retro Houston Astros logo (Astros - retro)
Hi, I'm Mel and I have weird middle-age lapses of memory. Among other things, I almost didn't snap that this is December 1st and I'm supposed to start Holidailies today. Not that anybody would likely have noticed my absence immediately, but still, I like to post as much as possible early in the month so that later when I inevitably run out of steam, it'll even out and I'll still end up with a reasonable number of posts.

I've been playing Trove for most of 2015 - scroll a couple of entries down if you're interested in Trove and you haven't seen that entry already, because there's pictures and stuff there. I haven't been playing as much lately because I'm also back to playing Guild Wars 2, but I'm still going into Trove and doing dailies a couple of days a week, at least. Earlier tonight I found the answer - well, a partial answer - to a mystery in Trove that's been bugging me for a while. They implemented a thing a good while ago (months ago) where you're supposed to get a couple of Chaos Chests daily. You open them and you get some random loot. So I got them for a while and then I stopped seeing them. I even turned in a bug report on this. It's not something I was really stewing about but I did wonder about it occasionally. Well, it turns out that at some point they put in an overflow tab that I hadn't even realized was there, and when I looked today there were something like 303 Chaos Chests in it. I'm not actually sure whether they've been accumulating unseen all this time or whether they restored them at some point, but they're there, anyway. And I opened all 300-odd of them at once - it was more than the original number because sometimes you open a chest and you get 5 more chests, or (once) 50. But I wrote down what was in my inventory when I finished because the huge accumulation of loot amused me greatly.

First of all, there was some large but undetermined amount of flux and glim, which are basically units of currency. There was some in my inventory to begin with so I'm not sure exactly, but it had to have been 10,000 or more of each - closer to 15,000 flux, I think. And there was also something like 250 infinium (a building material). But here's everything else. If the names don't make any sense to you... well, they're not going to make any sense to you, if you don't play Trove, really. It's all crafting materials or game items of one sort of another. I might stop to explain a few but there's too many to talk about all of them.

303 steed feed
150 faerie dust
7951 Eyes of Q'bthulhu
220 diamonds
40 shadow diamonds (these I'm very glad to have, they're rare)
250 sticky ichor
350 glacial shards
225 wild cupcakes
180 golden seashells
9 shadow keys
2 moon keys (which get you into hard-level dungeons)
175 bones
2200 radiant shards
225 crystallized cloud
500 mushroom chunks
225 robotic salvage
200 bottles
150 enchanted wood
275 primordial flame
450 sunlight bulbs (for gardening, I used all these immediately)
55 scrolls
20 style surprises (which is just a box that gives you a random item style)
15 turkeytopia boxes (which give you pumpkins and a chance at random rares, but I didn't get any - I never have out of these boxes!)
7 rare mounts (3 Scoops, 2 metalhead, 1 ancient cubits, 1 Runemaster's Record)

1 ship, the S.S. Dutchman

I already had the ship and the cubit mount, and I of course kept the ones I didn't already have. I sold the rest (a total of 4 mounts and a ship) on the marketplace. I checked to see what they were selling for and priced mine just under the lowest one, and they all sold within, like, 10 minutes. Apparently there are people who have 100,000 flux laying around, because the total was just over 200,000. (For comparison, the most I've ever previously had at one time was about 20,000.) I kept everything else, at least for now.

(Note: actually it turns out that the "metalhead" thing is not a mount but a mag-rail vehicle. It's very trippy. Also apparently quite rare, because it was the thing that sold for a 100,000 flux.)

mellicious: Retro Houston Astros logo (Astros - retro)
[ profile] columbina and I have been playing Trove for ages - I think he started before the beginning of 2015 and I started right after, maybe - and I have some screenshots so I thought of putting some of them here. We'll see what I have. I probably need to go document the stuff I've built in my club world more than I have, but I might have a few pictures of that already, and some out in the adventuring areas.

Here's a character and her mount and her ally. I haven't played Minecraft so I don't know about the similarities and differences between them, but I gather that this is considered a Minecraft-type game. This is my Knight - Trove is different from most games I've played in that you stay the same character all the time (in the sense that you have the same name and the same face and hair - although there are actually faces that are an armor item, too, I just choose not to have them show) and you just choose which class you're going to play. Each class has different abilities and different armor, and then you have mounts - which are a collectible, so after you've played a while you have more mounts than you can possibly use. (This one is a Battle Caterpillar - there are horses and dogs and bikes and even nowadays dragons - although they deliberately made that last one hard to get. Players submit designs and so you get all kinds of stuff. One of my chars rides a pinata!) All the mounts are good for is to go faster, but as far as I know even dragons don't go any faster than any other mount. Although I'm not sure about that because they're new - but for most mounts, they all go the same speed no matter what they look like.

Then you have allies - here that's the little guy that looks a bit like a floating Tardis. They give you a small stat boost so you can pick between them - personally I usually end up balancing between what my character can use a boost in, and appearance. The stat boosts are not that great, that some of them override appearance. I usually try to pick something with both allies and mounts that seems appropriate to the character. (For example, the ranger has a red panda mount; the tomb raiser has a skeletal horse.) There's a whole series of cats that are probably among the most popular allies.

Everything in Trove is cube-shaped. The characters and some other things in the world are made up of little tiny cubes, as you can see. And you can build, but only in large blocks - about as tall as the character is, in fact. Everybody gets a "cornerstone" house when they start. It has a specified size (16 by 16 blocks) and it starts out with a little basic house on it, but most people tear that one down and build something unique to them. My original one was sort of a latticework skyscraper - this is from the bottom looking up:

You have to mine for the different colors of blocks, so I just used whatever I had to begin with, that's why it's all patchworky. I kept building up and up - inside it was sort of patchworky also, it was just a maze of multiple levels and stairs and such. There's not really any particular use for making it tall, I just liked playing with it. You can also dig down and I did that also. Finally I decided I had gone high enough - I was up about cloud-level and I hadn't found a top limit yet - so I put on a roof:

This was a screenshot from one of the dungeons which was itself floating (it's a floating spaceship, in fact). I did some re-siding and made it at least look like a more organized patchwork, but eventually I decided I was bored with it and I built a narrower tower instead, that didn't take up the whole 16x16 width. I built it from the top down - things stay where you put them (mostly), even if where you put them is up in the air. (Col has built a whole floating castle on his club world.)

I had built a couple of towers on my club world so I had a basic design - I just elaborated on it a little bit with this. So I knocked down the roof of the original house and started building downwards from there, and I knocked the old latticework tower down as I went. It took me a good while - days or weeks, I don't remember exactly. (Building can get very involving, sometimes I'll get to working on something and lose all track of time.) So here's a shot looking upwards into the new tower:

and here's a picture where you can see both new and old:

I remember experimenting with the burnt-orange color you can see here, but I took that off eventually and went to the bright colors you can see in the picture above that. The colors are all bright purple and pink and blue. The part that looks white is actually light gray, because making light gray uses up gray blocks, which are the most common thing and anybody who likes to excavate builds up a ton of them. Light gray looks so close to white that most of the time you can't tell the difference anyway. I imagine the light-colored blocks in the green-and-white checkerboard are also light gray.

(When I got down to the bottom, I left part of the old building, so that the new tower sits in the ruins of the old tower. I like the way it looks, myself.)

I mentioned club worlds - you have the cornerstone house which you can take out in the adventuring world with you, and then there are also club worlds. These start out as a little island in the middle of a gigantic impassable ocean, but you can build onto them. When I started, Col had already been playing for a month or two, and he had terraformed and added several extra biomes to the club world that he had started, and so I built a structure there and I did some digging also. We kind of arrived at a "this is your part of the island and this is mine" sort of arrangement, I built a big terraced structure - in candy colors because it was next to a "candy" biome. Unfortunately I don't think I have any pictures of that.

(That's especially unfortunate because it got knocked down in a sort of tragicomic terraforming accident - Col was upset about it at the time, because he thought I'd be upset, but actually terraforming accidents happen a lot and I had quit using it by then so I was not particularly upset. He built sort of a Mel Memorial Terrace on top of it, actually! -- The reason there are lots of terraforming accidents is because it's not always clear where the edges of a zone are, and anything in the area may get messed up if you aim badly. I have done it several times myself so I know how easy it is!)

And I have to go right now and this is long enough anyway, so I will save any elaborations on this for later.
mellicious: pink manicure (fireworks)
I have very little brain today, and I'm pretty much all reminisced out, anyway, after a whole month of that stuff, so we'll go with an oldie but a goodie today: screenshots. I'm back on a Guild Wars 2 kick, and it turned out I had a stash of screenshots going back to 2012. This will probably be a lot of character shots, because GW2 is like old GuildWars in that choosing and recoloring your armor is a huge thing. (OK, really almost every MMO is that way to some degree, but the GuildWars games in particular seem to revel in it.) GW2 has updated their dye system, and it's easier to use than ever and gives you a ton of control over the coloring. I redyed everybody's armor to Christmas colors for Wintersday, and then since Christmas have recolored most of them again.

So some of these pictures are old and some are new. I'll put some big landscapes at the bottom, too, because GW's painterly style is cool. (But I'm putting most of the pictures behind a cut so if you're reading it from an LJ feed it won't be so obnoxious!)

Oh yeah, I had forgotten this one: a ghost cat.
GW2 has always been full of ghosts - many of whom are characters from GW1, actually - but if Alfa the cat was in GW1 I've forgotten. (I'm not even sure which one of my characters this is here, one of the warriors.)

Cut for more large pictures... )
mellicious: pink manicure (fangirl squee)
Holidailies starts on Monday, which technically is tomorrow, now, and which means I'll be hanging around LJ more for the next month, presumably. I have a plan for something specific to do for Holidailies - sort of like that Music Advent thing I was doing off and on last year, but with different years and a more personal spin to it. That's if I get around to actually writing anything like that. I'm not working tomorrow so hopefully I'll get my shit together in the next 24 hours, at some point, and write something for Monday.

In the meantime, I'm playing Guild Wars 2 again, since Col, my normal gaming partner, is off playing Skyrim without me. (He can't do it with me, there's no multiplayer mode for it, and I could theoretically be playing Skyrim, myself  - I bought it back a month or more ago when it was on sale - but I haven't gotten into it yet.) I know I'm getting interested in GW2 again because I went from just doing the dailies with my lowest character and stopping after that to hanging around in Orr (which is the hard part) with my high-level guys. (My GW2 characters are actually all girls, not guys, but it sounded more interesting the other way.*) So anyway, I have until tomorrow to finish the monthly part, and I need to do quite a bit of stuff for that, but I have all day tomorrow, so I'll make it. I might even get it done tonight, assuming I stay up long enough.

*Actually, come to think of it, I tend to use "guy" the way a younger person would use "dude" to an extent, especially when it's plural - that is, it just means "people" most of the time, rather than "male people." And all the normal terms for women annoy me - that is, "women" is fine for generalities but sounds totally off when you throw it into casual conversation; "girls" sounds demeaning, "ladies" is worse, and "gals" makes me want to scratch somebody's eyes out. Really, we need better terminology for all of this.

(Lest you say "What's wrong with saying 'women'?" try substituting it where I said "guys" in that first sentence where I got off onto this tangent. "My high-level women" just sounds goofy.)
mellicious: pink manicure (Torchwood - PC Andy)
I've gotten this bit of dialogue before in Diablo, but the difference here is kind of interesting:
(It takes place in Arreat Crater, which contains sort of a stray bit of Hell brought to earth)

Kormac the Templar: I must thank you.
Witch Doctor (Player): Why?
Kormac: When I became a templar, I dreamed of invading the Hells themselves. This is all I ever wanted.
Witch Doctor: Sometimes you worry me.
Read more... )

mellicious: pink manicure (Potter - bits & bobs)
Because I owe an entry for yesterday, and it's now 3am and I am sleepy and brainless, here are some Diablo 3 screenshots. (Diablo players will notice that these are not actually full screenshots - I cut them down some.)

Diablo is one of the few games I've played where you can't customize your character at all. You pick the class, and you pick male or female, and they look like what they look like. They end up looking different to some extent because of their clothes, though, anyway. Drops in Diablo are sort of randomized, and every weapon and every piece of armor has slightly different stats and there are a number of different skins for each kind, too.

So here's the first character I made, a wizard, named Mellificent (with great originality):
Mellificent at 40
Read more... )

(Oh yeah, I have game icons but this one above is actually Harry Potter, or Harry Potter Rifftrax, or something like that. It seemed appropriate, though, since I was discussing my wizard.)

mellicious: pink manicure (Happy NY - gif)
Well, I had some idea that Holidailies ended last night at midnight, like Cinderella, but apparently it's still going today. So I might as well say a thing or two more. For one thing - thanks to Richard and Jennifer for running Holidailies, and Jette, of course, for coming up with the idea!

I'm watching the Rose Parade - for once, I thought to tape it, which was good because I slept late, and then did a little work, too, since I slacked off yesterday. I am not all that big on holiday traditions outside of Christmas, really - but I do try to watch at least a bit of the Rose Parade. I like to see what they come up with.

We are going to see Django Unchained in a little while. I'm never sure what to expect with a Tarantino movie, but I'm sure it will be entertaining.

And it occurs to me (not that anybody has noticed, probably, but still) that I promised GW2 pictures and never delivered, so I'll finish with that.

I went through the World-vs-World area in passing yesterday and noticed how pretty the Wintersday decorations were:
In The Mists at Wintersday

More pictures... )
mellicious: pink manicure (Xmas bow)
Well, I'm not talking about the news. No way no how. So instead, let's talk about Wintersday, which is the GuildWars version of the holidays. GW2's Wintersday just started today, but I have a million screenshots (ok, maybe not quite a million) from old GuildWars and I loved Wintersday there, so I thought I'd post some of those.

This is Old Ascalon, I believe, and this is my dervish, Sharzad:
Sharzad finds the candy canes 

Here's my ranger Mila in Lion's Arch (note the carolers in the background):
Mila in Lion's Arch
(I don't know how well you can read that text, but Dwayna is the lightbringer, see, thus the carols are about her.)

More screenshots.. )
mellicious: pink manicure (KoL PrufRock)
I went into Glitch for a while, earlier, and there seemed to be a bit of a party going on at Cebarkul:

Last day of Glitch - at Cebarkul

(There were some things that have been added since I last really played, which was months ago - I guess floating cubimals was one of them!)

People in Glitch have always been fond of making arrangements of various items - I think I posted one last December that I found up in a tree. (Here.) The arrangements are necessarily temporary, because anything that you drop on the ground (or in a tree, it works the same) can be picked up by anybody else who comes along, and somebody always does. I bet even today, when hoarding stuff is not going to do you one bit of good, there's still people going around picking stuff up.

I did enjoy Glitch a lot, and I played it off and on for a long time. Keeping your animals alive is an art form. I think that was partly what kept me playing so long. And there was a lot of territory to explore, which I always enjoy. It's a shame Glitch never found a large-enough audience to keep it going. I think a lot of people don't know what to do without a ton of quests to grind!
mellicious: pink manicure (GW - ele icon)
I never got around to doing an entry yesterday - I worked late in the afternoon, even though it was Friday, and then I got on a big GW2 tear last night and played right up until I went to bed. I was trying to finish up an area called Blazeridge Steppes, and I did get that finished. Next is what I think of as "the pirate zone" - I think its official name is Bloodtide Coast, although I have a terrible time with all these names in this game - they are almost all compound names like that and they're really easy to mix up.

So since I'm on the game tear and I can't actually play where I am right now, I might as well write about it. I always end up writing to a greater or lesser degree about whatever game I'm playing - I know it doesn't interest everybody but at least it's not another entry about parents and death! I'm not in the mood for anything serious today anyway.

Guild Wars 1 was my first MMO (I nosed around in my archives and here, apparently, is the first time I played it, in March 2006. I still had dial-up back then and the load times were horrendous, but I remember having a good time and thinking about how amazing the artwork was, once I finally got to where I could play.) I had been playing some sort of MMO-like things before that like KoL and Dofus (both of which are still around - I know KoL is not an MMO at all in most ways, being entirely web-based and single-player and with no graphics fancier than a gif, but still, it's clearly heavily MMO-influenced and it served for me as sort of a gateway thing). My friend Col got me interested in MMOs, and walked me through it and was mostly endlessly patient about it - and we're still playing together all this time later, at least when he's not writing novels (as he is now) and when we can agree on a game to play. We've been through, let's see, various editions of GW1 and now 2, various releases of WoW, Auto Assault (long-gone now, that one is), LOTRO, DDO, Rift, SWTOR, and a fling with The Secret World last summer. We've both played various other things alone but those are the ones we've played together, unless I'm forgetting something.

So I guess I'm more or less an MMO veteran nowadays, although I don't generally do dungeons or raids or PvP or all of those kind of things that a lot of people spend all their game-time doing. (I did a sort of dungeon-type thing with some of my new guildies a few weeks ago and man, do I suck at it. I hear other people talking about this particular one - it's called fractals or FotM - so I know it's hard for everybody, but still I'm pretty sure I was worse than most people. I felt sorry for the poor people who were stuck with me.) But I do pretty well at normal (PvE) gameplay most of the time. I tend not to pay much attention to things like builds and how you're "supposed" to do things in any given game, and that tends to bite you in the butt when you get into big groups and they expect you to have certain skills. (Also apparently FotM is really meant for level 80s with fancy gear and I was about 60 at the time with no fancy gear whatsoever, but nobody told me about that at the time. The game does level you up to 80 stat-wise but it doesn't magically improve your gear. I guess it could, but it doesn't.)

My main solo character in GW2 is named Rina, and in the last few weeks since Col has been mostly absent and I've been playing her pretty much exclusively, she has gone from 55 to 80, which is the max in this game. I think this is especially a feat given that she's an elementalist, meaning she has light armor (although I play her as fire, mostly, and she can really do a ton of damage to everybody else), and given my generally-unorthodox play style.
Read more... )
(The icon is from old GW - it was one of the elementalist skill icons, as I recall. It might have been Phoenix.)
mellicious: pink manicure (Dr Who - giant robot)

As I have undoubtedly said before, I have never understood that "5 random things make an entry" meme. I find it unaccountably annoying, somehow. Why 5? What's wrong with three? or seven, for that matter? (Which isn't to say that I'll stop with three, anyway, I'm just sayin'.)

I've been reading back over my old Holidailies entries, and maybe I should resolve with Stef to talk LESS about the holidays, odd as that may seem. (Everybody needs to read Stef's entry, in any case, because it's awesome.) I can just refer you back to the last five-years-plus of old Holidailies entries for pretty much any particular holiday subject, anyway.

I've been doing this for more than 5 years, actually, if not quite from the beginning, but the oldest ones were on Diary-X and are long-gone. There's lots of whining about that in the LJ archives, too, if you're interested. (Also some on my old Whys and Wherefores blog, which I had forgotten about until I went looking for the CW bit that I linked yesterday. There are also some resurrected entries from Diary-X over there - the link above is to one - that I had forgotten were there, and I can't say that I remember exactly where I resurrected them from, either. Maybe I had just saved some of them on Notebook or somewhere like I'm doing with this one now.)

I'm at work and it's slow, so this might be a long entry. Or if it gets really long, I might go ahead and post it and start another one! Hopefully it won't be THAT slow, though, or it's gonna be a long afternoon. Generally I am good at finding ways to fill my afternoons on slow days, though. I read Go Fug Yourself, or look at Pinterest, and I used to fool around with Glitch, a year or so ago when I was still all into that. I mention that because I was just over  there - although being there generally seems kind of useless now, since it's about to shut down. I had a bunch of credits, though, so I bought some wardrobe stuff, just the same (see below) - I think it's appropriate that I go out wearing a tiara! (Old joke which a few of you will get...)

In other game news, our current one is Guild Wars 2, which I am not going to talk about too much right now, because I'm sure there will be one or more entries about at a later date, assuming I follow past patterns. I will say, though, that my sylvari elementalist is up to level 75, now, since I've been playing her exclusively. And the reason for that is that Col, my normal game-playing partner, has been off writing a novel. (Not doing NaNoWriMo, or he'd be done now - theoretically, anyway. He's just writing a novel.) Anyway, sticking with one character is not something I normally do, much, and it does do wonders for leveling. 80 is the cap in this game, so I'm going to get there, and soon. I'm not anywhere near done with the story part of the game, though.

Really completely random thing: my dad got stung by jellyfish so many times that he became immune. (I think it was Guild Wars that reminded me of this, because there are jellyfish pets. They are much cooler than real jellyfish. Or cooler than the jellyfish that I have personally encountered, anyway.)

I am amused that half of the Holidailies entries I have read so far are something to the effect of, "Fuck, why did I sign up for this?" I've been doing this long enough that I have quit panicking about it. I always manage to think of something to say. It's never great art, but oh well. (That could be my motto in life, actually.)

My Glitch character:

mellicious: pink manicure (buffy quote - death star)
OK, so this is what I get up to in The Old Republic when [ profile] columbina isn't around - he was off today, and we played for a couple of hours this morning, but he left with a migraine around lunchtime. So after he left I:
1. decided I needed (game) money (which is, in grand old Star Wars tradition, actually called "credits" rather than money), and one way to get it is to kill a lot of stuff. So I...
2. run around the planet where we already were (Balmorra) and kill a lot of stuff. This does get me moneycredits, slowly, from looting directly and also from picking up sellable items. It also gives me a slow but steady pickup of xp (experience points), which is probably going to displease Col later because he doesn't really like it when I get ahead, and we have been playing these characters entirely together. But oh well, I didn't do it on purpose to get xp, and I didn't do any quests. (Well, except for one which I mention below, but that's a daily so it doesn't count either.)
3. I was also picking up archaeological items at the same time - that's my Sith's gathering profession - and I did some crafting along the way, and then I realized that I was running out of the crystals that you get earlier on, and I wasn't getting any more of them on Balmorra. But none of the crafting recipes used the higher-level items yet, so I decided to go to the Imperial Fleet to the crafting trainer, and see if I had any new recipes yet. (Eventual answer: I did, but they were not much help.)
    Now the game does not make this bit of travel really easy to do - I guess going from one planet to another really ought not be that easy, should it? so I trekked back to town to the spaceport, got on my ship, made the jump to the fleet (which actually is in an entirely different sector of the galaxy, so the galactic map says), got off the ship again, and ran through the cantina at the center of the spaceport (don't ask me why, but that's where you come out when you get off your ship) and halfway across the spaceport to the trainer - which takes at least as long to do as the hyperdrive jump took. The space station is big.
4. Then I made a pit stop at the Galactic Trade Market (which in any other game would be called the auction hall - although here there's no pretense of an auction, really - you put your stuff up for sale at a price you choose, and people buy it or not). I bought some of the crystals I was looking for at a fairly reasonable price, then I realized that all the rest of them were for sale for much much more (like 100 credits each) and I probably wasn't going to get any more at the reasonable price (which was more like 12 each). So then I...
5. bopped off to another planet, to Dromund Kaas, which is the Sith capital, and is where I got the crystals in the first place, to hunt down some more of them.
6. At DK, I get sidetracked between the spaceport and town by some elites that I figure out I can now kill without getting killed myself. They don't give me xp any more, because I am 10 levels higher than them, but they do give me a fair number of credits and I'm still interested in credits. (I also manage to do a daily that involves killing these elites. Once again, no xp, but credits.)
7. I cut across the bottom of town and head off toward the ruined temple place because I'm really supposed to be hunting those crystals, and I remember that that place had a lot. On the way, I wander into another elite area, and this one doesn't go so well - they are higher level - still lower than me, but they're elites and I'm not big enough to kill these guys yet. I die, poor Vette (my NPC companion) dies, and when I rez, I back the heck out of there.
8. Wander around the exterior of the temple looking for crystals. Find a lot of crystals, eventually also find a green doorway (meaning one I can go into) that I don't think I remember seeing before. Nothing tries to kill you, there's just some machines. (Apparently it is the Matrix Assembly place described here, but I just now got around to looking that up.) I poke around at the machines, and figure out that they have something to do with datacrons and something to do with these matrix shard thingys that are lying around in my inventory. Play around with them randomly and end up with a Matrix Cube, which describes itself in the tooltip as a relic, which is something I know there's an inventory slot for. It's not really the stats I need, but oh well. I'm lucky it was something useful at all, and it didn't summon some elite that would have killed me - or make my shards go poof because I did it wrong. I am just pleased I figured it out without consulting the wiki! (I think it was the RYG one I made, and those were the only three colors I had so my options were limited anyway. A blue one would have been required to make the ones for my warrior's primary stat, and I didn't have that.) Never did make it inside the main part of the temple.

So there you are. Got some credits and some useful items, and learned something interesting. Not at all what I expected to do today, but not a total loss, in game terms.
mellicious: pink manicure (WoW - shiny)

I know some of you are not interested in hearing about games. Sorry about that. I find the differences between games rather endlessly fascinating, which I guess is obvious from the amount I talk about it, isn't it?

In addition to the real-life crafts I'm involved in, which are complicated enough, I seem to accidentally be playing two games right now which have very elaborate crafting systems. First there's Glitch, which has fairly detailed, realistic food recipes for the most part - with some goofy exceptions like the way you make all spices out of allspice, and you make fruit with a fruit-changing machine (out of cherries). I've been playing Glitch for, what, three months now, and so I've got that system mostly down. Not completely, because there are a lot of different crafts and there's a few I haven't really ventured into much, but mostly.

Now there's SWTOR, in which your companions do the crafting for you, technically - but you have to tell them what to do, for the most part. You can actually send them off to do "missions" on their own. You can read the description before you send them but you don't get to hear about what happens after they leave - they just come back with stuff for you, or not. (Them coming back with nothing is fairly rare, so far, but it's happened once or twice.) My Sith warrior, which is my most advanced character, has two companions now, and a ship. (A very nice ship, actually!) The 2nd companion came with the ship, and is a droid. (He says lots of comically servile things, C-3PO style, which I can't remember enough of to quote right now.)

Anyway, in SWTOR you have three "professions" - a crafting one, a gathering one, and a third one that I think is called "missions" or something, although actually the gathering one also has missions of its own. So my crew trained to be an Artificer, which so far involves making hilts for lightsabers, and also the color crystals which make the "body" of the saber turn different colors. Then my gathering one is Archaeology, which involves gathering crystals and various kinds of artifacts, and the third one is Treasure-Hunting, interestingly enough. (All Indiana Jones - similar to Archaeology, but not quite the same!) Some missions are to come back with lockboxes which might have money in them or other stuff, some are for different items which you can give to your companions as gifts, others are for gems. See what I mean about complicated? Oh, and also, sometimes she comes back with gift "fragments" which you can take to a "curator" who is supposed to be able to combine them. Col actually got sort of mad at me while I was wandering all over Fleet HQ - which is HUGE - trying to find this curator person. It turned out that they're really just sort of a vendor - you go to them with the proper number of fragments and they offer you a choice of several different gifts you can buy with your fragments. It really is kind of a crazy system.

mellicious: pink manicure (nothing to say)
(I'll shut up about SWTOR in a couple of days. Probably.)

SWTOR is officially open for business, as of a couple of hours ago. It wasn't even all that crowded when I went in. Juyo, where we were playing last week, was full, but they'd opened a lot of new servers and most of them weren't. I guess starting at midnight eastern means a lot of the kids have gone to bed, the east coast ones, anyway. It's hard to tell what the mix of people is for this game, although I commented early on that I'd heard more sort of vaguely (and occasionally not so vaguely) mysogynist talk in chat here and there than in most of the other games we've played. It's a more military-seeming game, it may get more of an FPS sort of crowd, I don't know. Some people definitely come from an MMO background - by which I mean WoW and Rift and the usual swords-and-sorcery kind of thing - but maybe not all of them.

I made a smuggler just now, because my bounty hunter was on the other server, the full one. (Smuggler is on the Republic side, bounty hunter is Imperial. They're practically the same, character-wise, really, except that they start on different planets and have different story lines - which makes them end up being not the same at all.) I am enjoying playing imperials, and especially the Sith, just because all the plots and the political machinations are so interesting. The Sith Warrior has a boss (or a "master") who seems like a nice enough guy - but then you are summoned to Darth somebody, who tells you to go kill the first guy, your master. And because I'm playing for dark points - I'm a Sith, after all - I do it. Actually, I suspect that even if you refuse - if you even can - you end up having to kill him, because he tries to kill you first. So if you kick about it, you just lose dark points. (And if you don't want dark points, why are you playing a Sith, really? Although it might be interesting to try to do a nice Sith, just for fun. I might try it sometimes. Col can tell you that I like starting new characters just for the fun of it, anyway - I have a long history of doing that.)

This is the first game I've played where you get a "companion" - meaning, an NPC who goes around with you. Well, GuildWars had henchmen and heroes, who you could take out with you on fights. Nightfall's "heroes" were probably pretty close to this, I guess. Anyway, I haven't played any game lately, let's say, that had anything like this system. It seems to be becoming fairly common, though, from what I've heard people saying about other games. So anyway...

A Sith Warrior gets a Twi'lek for a companion - you know, the ones with the long tail-like things growing from the back of their heads, like in Jabba's palace in Return of the Jedi? This Twi'lek is a girl, and when you first see her, she has on a shock collar, and she's talking back to the jailer, just the same. Her name is Vette, and she's sort of a treasure-hunter sort of character. (In character for the Sith, who, remember, do have slaves - she is still a slave, more or less, and still has the collar on. I've even used it a couple of times when I had to for dark points, although that's of course not something I would ever do on my own. I've promised her if she "behaves" I'll remove it.) Col's Sith Inquisitor got a really big, really ugly guy of some unknown species for a companion (I can't remember his name, either) who you find in suspended animation in a tomb.

My bounty hunter hasn't gotten far enough to get assigned a companion yet, but I've already figured out who it's going to be. That one is another girl, named Mako. She's sort of a techie kind of person, but cute. (Some of those misogynistic comments I mentioned concerned what they'd like to do to Mako, as a matter of fact.) I also got far enough in beta to get one assigned to my Republic Trooper, and that one was sort of like getting your worst enemy attached to you - he was a guy named Aric who had been a real pain in the butt from the moment my character walked in the door. I actually successfully called it several levels before it happened - actually what I said was, "Please tell me he's not going to be my companion," and sure enough, stuff happens in the meantime, and the guy who was your boss is suddenly now your subordinate.

(To round out the other ones I've seen: smugglers get a sort of surfer-dude kind of guy, which annoyed Col no end when he was playing smuggler in beta, and Imperial agents get a tough-talking bald girl, who I only saw for a little while, because my lightsaber-wielding Sith turned out to be a bad combination with the IA, who can blast down everything in sight in what seemed like no time, and I was having trouble getting to fight anything. It made me really cranky.)
mellicious: pink manicure (Xmas - pink aluminum)
(written yesterday - I think there was supposed to be more to it than this at the time, but this is as far as I got!)

I got my SWTOR early access. It came slightly earlier than I expected - I figured I would probably have it by the weekend, but I thought it might be tomorrow instead of today. As it happened, I woke up with an earache and sore throat, which unfortunately is not really unusual for me this time of year, so I stayed home today. (I called in before I looked to see whether I had it or not; it seemed like cheating to look, somehow! But I couldn't help but be aware that it was a possibility.) Happily, my symptoms have diminished somewhat - I don't exactly feel on top of the world, but I'm not in real pain any more, anyway, enough that I can enjoy my my game that I've been looking forward to so much.

I've been playing Imperials all day - a bounty hunter, and then my Sith. The Sith trainer says, when you talk to her, "You desire more power? Good." and then when you're finished she says, "Remember - peace is a lie." (In her very posh Alec Guinness-y accent.) I think that gives you a good feeling for what the Sith are all about. They're not portrayed as evil per se - they believe that pursuing power is a good thing, and so is following your passions. Even if those passions aren't noble ones, obviously. (Several of the male NPCs are quite stout, which I guess could be a side-effect of following one's passions, too! So far, I haven't seen a stout female one.)

A bounty hunter is different - you start on Hutta, a swampy backwater run by (naturally) the Hutts. They are not even the natives there, but have seemingly stolen the land from the native Evocii. It's the usual kind of thing - some fellow bounty hunters to kill, some visits with His Immenseness Nem'ro the Hutt, and some side quests where somebody wants you to save their relative and that sort of thing. It's pretty fun.


mellicious: pink manicure (Default)

April 2019



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