Tuesday, August 23, 2016

"I'm going on an adventure!!"

Somewhere, up there, lies the Black Pit.

Courtesy of a lot of diligent grinding --and a major boost from the LOTRO 50% off sale-- I managed to accumulate enough Turbine Points to nab the entire expansion for the Mines of Moria.

Some thanks goes to the oldest mini-Red, who has one toon on my account on this server, and did some grinding for deeds herself a while back.

But if you'll excuse me, there's a world underneath those mountains to explore.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Shaken, Not Stirred

I've always wanted to play a spy, because it is the ultimate acting exercise. You are never what you seem. --Benedict Cumberbatch

The 60's era spy genre, as interpreted by the SWTOR Agent class story, has all of the classics covered: danger, double crossing, sex/romance, an insidious enemy, and a dashing, heroic character at the center.

And no easy choices.

Although it was before my time by several
years, I'm familiar with this tune by Johnny Rivers.

I'm about at the end of Chapter 2, and I recognize all of the signs for a big reveal and/or turning point that sends me on to Chapter 3.* But the more I've thought about the class story that I've seen so far, I've been impressed with how clever Bioware has been to humanize the story and get you on the agent's side.

(Spoilers after the break)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

What a Puzzlement

The name I'd chosen eons ago for the Blizzard forums is not Redbeard, believe it or not.

I was quite a bit more mundane and used one of my old standby forum names, because I was used to having Redbeard already taken.*

Imagine my surprise, then, when I received an e-mail from Blizzard.

A small portion of the e-mail.

Yes, ol' Redbeard is front and center in the e-mail.

I'm used to some of my toons showing up in the occasional Blizzard e-mail, such as Azshandra, Nevelanthala, and Tomakan, but this is.... different.

Just who reads this blog, anyway?

*There must be a ton of Scooby Doo fans out there. Unfortunately, I'm not going to link the episode that features the Ghost of Redbeard, "Go Away Ghost Ship", as I can see that the videos out there are pretty thinly veiled attempts to avoid copyright infringement (video is speeded up, and white dots and smudges are deliberately introduced to avoid bots.)

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Methinks I need a new d20

Gen Con begins today in Indianapolis, and this year I'm going to be reduced to watching it from afar.

Due to school commitments (marching band camp) and monetary commitments (the Grand College Tour), we're going to take a pass this year.

But that doesn't mean that I won't keep up with what's going on, as boardgamegeek.com has their BoardGameGeekTV up and running over at Gen Con.

And I've  a connection on the inside, as my brother-in-law has been attending for years and is likely in line right now (~6 AM Indianapolis time).

Go forth and play games!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Hey, at least I didn't die of dysentery

I haz returned.

The Great College Tour is complete. Universities and colleges were visited, food was consumed, and nary a video game was played.

Hell, I didn't even THINK of MMOs or video games until our last visit of the Tour. The guide for the last university tour paused in front of a room at the Student Center and asked if anyone here played video games.

Three mini-Reds' hands shot up, along with those of a couple of other people.

Well, the guide said, this is the video game room. There are consoles and oversized screens there for people to play, and it's all free of charge.

I swear I thought I saw the mini-Reds' levitate.


Not all was serious business, certainly. We did sample the local cuisine (which, in Chicago, means Chicago style hot dogs and Chicago style pan pizza), and we took a day off and visited the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

Here, have a picture of the Pioneer Zephyr --the first US streamliner-- which was donated to the Museum of Science and Industry in 1960:

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Clean Up in Aisle Four

After several years, I've finally pushed past the last Kerrals Jarvis quest in the Agent's storyline on Hutta and begun my last unfinished class story in earnest.

Even after creating another new Agent and reaching that same moral roadblock, I finally decided to bite the bullet and finish that quest. Still, that wasn't an easy thing to do.

(Spoilers after the break for the SWTOR storylines.....)

Friday, July 22, 2016

Have a Nice Trip

I spent most of the past week visiting different colleges and universities with the Redbeard clan, and while that also meant not a whole lot of gaming, I also got a lot of exercise walking around several campuses.

Sort of.

You see, I'd busted my foot back in early June the day of a college visit to Bowling Green State University. I was walking across our hotel's open area, where their attempt to invoke the images of New Orleans' French Quarter included masks such as these:

The photo doesn't do it justice.
The thing is close to 2 meters tall.
As I was staring at these masks that my wife compared to American Horror Story's Freak Show, I tripped over my feet and I felt intense pain in the heel of my foot. To my later regret, I convinced myself that I'd be fine and went on the visit anyway, which included a 90 minute walking tour of the campus.

I discovered just how much of a mistake that was when we left for home after the visit and stopped for lunch along the way. I simply could not put any weight on my foot without pain shooting through my heel.

After a week, I decided to visit the doctor's office since the pain wasn't going away much at all in spite of rest, ice, and elevation. The doctor took an x-ray and discovered that my foot was not in fact broken, but merely sprained. More rest and ice was the prescription.

Fast forward to a month and a half later, I can walk fairly well, but the foot is around 85-90%.

But it still isn't fun walking around college campuses, particularly those with lots of hills.


Anyway, after one of the campus tours we stopped for lunch at a hole-in-the-wall Latin restaurant. We placed our order, and while we were waiting, I noticed a couple of construction workers eating nearby. Normally, that's not a surprise, but what attracted my eye was the "Blizzard" logo on the back of one of the workers' shirt.

Sure enough, when he went to get a drink, he had a giant Horde symbol on the front.

"For the Horde," I whispered. And smiled.