Monday, 24 September 2012

Progressive Rock Radio

Hello everyone;
I have got a personal note. My husband and I will be on a Progressive Rock Radio presenting a show called: Prog & Roll. It is every Thursday between 9pm-11pm GMT. Tune in if you are a rock fan and if you like quality music. Thank you in advance :)

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Order of the Force

As we got into the world (galaxy more like :P) of Star Wars The Old Republic we decided to form a guild with some the old friends from LOTRO. The guild's name is Order of the Force (Light Side) in The Red Eclipse server. Any other friends who are roaming about after having left lotro, or those who are lonely in the game and are interested in an invite to a friendly kin are all welcome to check our forum out and apply here:

Thanks in advance...

Monday, 17 September 2012

Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria Part I

After having played LOTRO: Shadows of Angmar for almost a year, all of us lotro players waited impatiently for the first expansion: The Mines of Moria. We did not have to wait long because it was released in 2008 and it was an enormous expansion, the biggest still since then. But was it necessary? Did it have to be this big? Was it good? Was it bad? How was it received by us?

In this post I will stick to what the expansion brought to the game in technical aspects of game-play in order to keep it short. I will further review the content in the next post so both are easy reads for those who are interested.

MoM (Mines of Moria) Included not just a huge area map but also new classes, new skills, new levels. The level cap of the characters was raised from 50 to 60. That’s at least 5 new or improved skills for each class.
Two new classes were introduced to the game:

No its not the atomic table :)
1-Warden: Javelin and spear wielders. This class is considered to be a medium armor wearing tank or dps. I had given it a go for a short while. The class works on a gambit system which functions like this: By using specific skills in specific and various orders you reach certain gambit skills in each fight. The trouble is…you do not see those skills that you reach so you have to write them down and stick it on your screen to remember all those combinations which makes the class extremely alt unfriendly. If you play a warden you have to stick to it because you will never remember the combinations if you ever give it up. I suppose they were just taking their first steps into making the game highly alt unfriendly in creating this class. I hear from Warden players that it is a very powerful and stout class and very tough to beat if you take the trouble…but hey I am going to be honest here: I am not that smart to remember all those combinations when I play on one of my other mains. Besides…it’s a game. Why should I take the trouble?
Behold the power of thy brick! :)

2- Rune Keeper: Or Brick Holders as the lore fans condescendingly call them. I can’t argue with them because they do have a very valid point in this class's having nothing to do with the Lore. But my rune-keeper was fun to play with. It’s a light armour wearing healing or dps class. Great damage, great healing and a very nice system of play to boot. Does it fit the lore of Tolkien though? Bah no way. Still I cannot call a rune keeper a bad addition to the game.

A new legendary system was the other huge, game changing addition in MoM. One which looked so very interesting at first but started to get on my nerves as the level caps were increased and new features were added to them all done in the worst way possible. But we will get there. As for now let’s stick to how it was introduced in MoM.

The idea of a legendary weapon and item was class specific.  It sounds interesting doesn’t it? Well IT’S NOT. Because in theory it is a very nice addition but in practice it is not. We were also so excited and thought it such a great idea at first. The legendary weapon or item you attained had –and still has- legacies that improved each class. How though? By throwing a bunch of skill enhancements, some useful, some completely useless, into the weapon and adding points to those legacies as you levelled your weapon or your item together with your toon. They could be levelled up to 60, the first thirty levels (in every ten levels which means 3 times) revealing new legacies and the last 30 improving the legacies already on it. Each legacy has a tier too up to 6 so not only do you need the right legacies you also need to find those pretty legacies on high tiers too unless you want to go through with an awful lot of psychopathic and if I may add obsessive grinding. You could also add relics to it but in order to add better relics you had to also improve the relics by deconstructing high level legendary weapons on and on and on and the number of the weapons you had to deconstruct was something completely insane to get the really good relics to add. There were three kinds of legendaries: 3rd Age aka bad dps good legacies (since they are easy to come by, you beat the odds because of the quantity not quality), 2nd Age aka “nice dps but how the hell am I going to find the nice legacies I got on my 3rd age?” and 1st age aka “Did I do those stupid turtle runs to find these legacies?”

 So as we progressed and sought for heaven knows how long for the right legacies in right tiers on each weapon, on each item for each class that we owned, grind grind grind to get better relics for a weapon which will only be replaced by a new one whether or not you want to as you level up, we started to feel annoyed. It took me about 2 years to finally get to this point: “Sod your legendary weapons!”

Besides this legendary system threw weapon crafters completely off because you see even if you do craft them you do not know the legacies on it until you identify the item so you either sell them cheap unidentified or identify them in hopes of getting something good (which you rarely do) and if not vendor for a funny price. Are you kidding me? When I look back on the introduction of legendary weapons and items I can understand my first excitement over it. But now that I know better…it was the beginning of the end. Sooner or later this new system drove many friends of mine off the game. In due time the developers tried to better it but in their own twisted way of endless grinding yet again. That’s for another post though.

One really good thing they came up with was the new system class traits all categorized for specific roles that your class might play in a fellowship or a raid. Each class now had 3 categories of class traits. Let’s give an example here:

Take the Guardian: Main role tank and minor role solo low-ish-dps with overpower stance. Guardian received 3 main categories of traits:


1-The fighter of Shadow
2- The Defender of the Free
3- The Keen Blade

 Each of these categories supported a different aspect of the Guardian class. Say for example The Keen Blade supported the overpower stance for more dps during solo whereas the Defender of the Free boosted the agro grabbing skills hence making the Guard a true tank in a fellowship. Each category has got a number of traits you can equip on a character and the more you equip from one category the more bonus you get as a result. This was –and still is- a nice system. Credit where its due...

That wraps up the main technical aspects of MoM I think. In the next post I will try to review the content of the expansion. It will be a relatively positive post because lotro always releases nice contents, lovely and/or impressive landscapes, positively interesting stories, good designs as opposed to a destroyed game-play experience with every expansion coming out...So stay tuned for a more optimistic post on the content of MoM :)

Saturday, 15 September 2012


So far...

Alright it hasnt been long since I began playing this mmorpg but I would like to write my opinion on my first impressions of the game.

Lets begin with the technical aspects:
Star Wars The Old Republic is a recently released sci-fi mmorpg by Lucasarts, Bioware and EA Games. Bioware production is instantly felt in the game strongly. The levelling system is based on xp gain, pretty much like any other mmorpg. The skill system is through visiting trainers and obtaining new or improved skills. Each class at level 10 chooses one of the two specializations to further enhance his character.

Each class gets a number of companions. Companion is especially introduced by bioware in former games such as DAO and DA2. You can interact with these companions, they assist you greatly through combat and do your crafting for you. You even get romance options with some of them. When it comes to adding a depth to companions in a game Bioware as always has done a great job.

Now lets come to the content:
There are two factions that you can choose from: The Dark Side (the empire) and the Light Side (the republic) these two factions can not communicate with each other in the game so if you want to play with a friend you will have to go for the same faction. Each faction's story is developed separately and each class gets a special class story line apart from the common planet story lines.

During dialogues Bioware has used a format that I am so familiar with from DA2. The video footage system where you see your toon act. Now this must have been amazingly difficult to achieve when you think about it. Each and every one of the classes are voiced by a different voice actor not to mention the mission givers, npcs, companions etc...

My biggest toon is only level 22 as yet but so far what are my first impressions of the game?
Well as a person who said when the game first came out: "I would never ever play a game that begins with the word star!" I am happy to eat it all back. I did not touch the game for a long time although my husband played it, I refused to touch anything that was sci-fi as I hate it and Star Wars in general (not just the games that came out till now but also the movies and everything) always seemed something as laughable to me. And they still do...except for THIS game! I guess its a true testament to how good the game is to entice a sci-fi hater such as myself.

The video below is a nice little intro to all the classes in the game. Watch and enjoy :)

My hats off to you Bioware! You always do such an amazing job.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Funny& Impressive Videos

I wanted to share some videos I have found, some old some new. They cheer me up and make me giggle so I hope you will enjoy them too.

Some pranks in this video are pure mean but hell sometimes its so funny to watch people getting scared :)))

I want to find out what happened to this lady because at her age she is sure to have broken something.

This one is not a funny video. But it is so impressive and so lucky (in every aspect) that I watched it for a dozen times and every time I can not believe their luck.

And last but not least is a short movie style video which I have watched years ago and yet I still find it worth adding here.

I hope you enjoyed the videos. Stay tuned for reviews on games, cinema and literature.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Life on Mars

“Life on Mars is a British television series broadcast on BBC One between January 2006 and April 2007. The series combine elements of science fiction and police procedural. The story is about a police officer –Sam- who finds himself in 1973 after a car accident. How he came to be there is up for grabs through the series. Consisting of two seasons, with 8 (an hour long) episodes each, the series create a big and unending suspense. But just like Sam himself you will find yourself getting used to his situation and get caught up with what’s going on in 1973.

 I was reluctant to watch the series at first as I thought it to be another police and car chase series which offer no depth of characters and just use action as a tool of chaining you to the screen. But I have to admit that I was totally in the wrong. For those who look for action there is plenty of it in the production but those who wish to see more do not go unsatisfied.

The plot is constantly building up the suspense. Whether it’s about Sam’s fight for survival or his inexhaustible struggle to find the truth about his being in 1973 or some mysterious crime, you will never find it easy to pause the series to go to the kitchen and get a glass of water. You will keep saying “okay after this scene.”

Gene Hunt played by Philip Glenister
The atmosphere and the depiction of 1973 are both fun and captivating the most. The comical character “Gene Hunt” as the DCI back in 1973 and the violations of the officers in the show was found inaccurate by the police officers who served back then in real life, but they are found as immense comedy makers by the audience, adding a touch of humour to the show. But comedy –and occasionally tragedy- also rises from the clashes between Sam and the officers of 1973. The difference in technology, procedure, morality, etiquette, communication and perception constantly causes the characters to clash which sometimes occurs in a funny way and sometimes in a more serious fashion.

The music of the series maybe gives it the best advantage over the many police procedural series out there. The title of the show refers to Bowie’s Life on Mars. Among the bands and the singers that were used in the show you will see names such as: Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Thin Lizzy, Uriah Heep, The Who, Paul McCartney and so many more. If you like to check out which tracks were used please visit: the link to the soundtrack list on wiki . So the music of the show is as captivating as the plot itself to those who like rock from 70ies.

Keeley Hawes in Ashes to Ashes
The series do have a follow up under the title “Ashes to Ashes”. I did not half like these series as much as I liked Life on Mars and to be frank I did not even finish it. I like to pretend that Ashes to Ashes does not even exist because for me it was such a literal killer to such a fantastic show. So I simply count Life on Mars season 1&2 as the only productions on the story. If you want to go ahead and destroy it for yourself though, then watch. The main actress is hot…that’s about the only nice thing I have got to say about Ashes to Ashes :) Dont get your hopes up though, what with the worst fashion sense ever and the clown make-up of the 80ies even a woman of her calibre can look lame.
But back to Life on Mars; I highly recommend it to those who like intriguing, original stories, police procedural, who like trying to guess what has happened or will happen, who like watching the atmosphere and listening to the music of 70ies (that put me off a lot in Ashes to Ashes as it took part in the 80ies) and in general who like a really good production (well who doesn’t?). Watch it and you won’t regret it :) 

I attach the intro video below and I hope you like it. Thank you for reading :)