Archive for April 2012

Poet At Larger Reviews, Video Game, World of Warcraft   Leave a comment

Imagine for a moment that you are not a human but a magical creature on a quest to save your people. That is the point of the Role Playing Game. It is an escape from the world of the mundane that we all live in. Originally they were played with dice and paper, but in the times we now live in you have computer games on the internet that allow you to play the character without rolling stat because you log on to the internet and play with people from all over the world with a graphic avatar to represent you in the world of the MMRPG or Massive Multilayer Role Playing Game.

I once saw a periodic table of elements that make up the internet with the term WoW on it, this referred to the game World of Warcraft. The most well known MMRPG is World of Warcraft. I have spent the last week playing the game to research its playability. I can say at this point that you have a choice of 10 races and each race has it’s own beginning realm. In the starter version you can play up to level 20 and you can have more than one character on your account.

I first entered as a Night Elf Druid. I discovered the learning curve soon after. You have to pay close attention to your action bar. If you want your character to wear something you have earned then you have to open your picture and either click and drag the item to you picture or right click and let it be put on by the game if you do it wrong you can loose the item for good. Don’t put quest items on your action bar. Use them from inventory or they will cause problems with spells.

My second and third characters were human. A Paladin and a Warrior from them I learned that every point of armor counts and that you always take the weapon that makes the most damage. The human begging realm starts at an abbey where you have to fight off an Orc invasion. The thing to note is that several people are playing the same quest as you at the same time. They all have to start there so you overlap them all the time. Always running into monsters you have already killed that have gone and responded. Plus the other players can challenge you to a duel, but they are suppose to issue a formal challenge and you can say no.

My next choice was to go Horde or one of the supposed evil races. I chose to be a Troll. The big thing about Trolls is that they are Tribal and tropical in World of Warcraft. They fight because they are defending their homes and their right to live. That is often the way of war it’s about territory, power or religion. The nature of the trolls as you play then starts to grow on you. The creatures that you fight as a troll are of the sea and the dessert as well as invading humans. I would go back and play a troll again.

As a Dwarf you fight the Wendigo and Troggs and Trolls. For my time as a Dwarf I chose to be a Shaman. This gave me some interesting tools to fight with like the ability to summon a totem that made me stronger. The spells I had learned helped me take out a Wendigo in 3 hits. Though the Dwarf version of a woman’s winter coat leaves something to be desired in the midriff. I usually don’t play dwarfs in and Role Play Game, but my time as a dwarf helped me rethink that.

As I round out my choice of characters I next became a an Undead. She was suppose to be a rouge but a mix up when I set the character she ended up a warrior. I found my time as an undead to be creepy and disturbing. I do not think I would choose to play an Undead character long term. The imagery gave me nightmares. First you must execute the undead who were raised like you but did not go right. Then the undead who have rotted beyond usefulness. Then you fight the Rot Brains who did not choose to fight along side you for the dark lady. All too disturbing.

Next I tried being an Orc hunter which was not bad. I just had to kill pigs and then scorpions and demons. Finally I was sent to a troll village and found myself on the same quests as the troll. One thing to note it that some times you can take on more than one quest in the same area at a time but some times it is better to do only one quest and pass through danger again to get better points and treasure.

I then tried being a gnome but a glitch in the game kept the quests from showing up so I had no idea how to earn points after I got out of the ruins of Gnomgiria. I finally got the Gnome to work but I did it by starting a new character. This time a Priest instead of a Mage. I did learn after the fact that if I had transported to the grave yard I would have done a reset but the easier way is to just click on one of the hovering propellers at the beginning of the decontamination machine and go through the cycle, they are not very clear on how to start the decontamination, but once you have been through it you are ready to go above ground from the ruins of Gnomgiria and face the quests to save your people from a Mad Gnome.

Next I chose to be a Blood Elf Rouge. This gave me the opportunity to see a race that was on the wrong side but was trying to better themselves. To keep from letting magic destroy them. My choice of being a rouge will let me pick pockets at a higher level but I’m not yet sure how that works. Just know that if you play the game watch you wallet.

After being a Blood Elf I made a Tauren Druid. The Tauren look like anthropometric bulls and have a Native American like culture. Their blood enemy are anthropomorphic boars. They are forever fighting the boars for territory even though the boars are only a fraction of their size.as you progress from village to village you also fight Gnolls and other Taurens. There are also vision quests. I found the race quite enjoyable.

Finally I tried being a Draenai Mage they are actually aliens that crashed in alliance territory. There big problem seems to be cleaning up the mess their crash made. It mutated animals and plants so that they are just not right ans you either have to inoculate them or kill them. I’m sure the Draenai will meet up with alliance quests. All roads seem to go to Rome as it were and eventually you have to go to the end of the road.

There are two more races but you have to have a paid account to play them. You also have to have a paid account to go above level 20 I have not yet bought an account but I am considering it. It’s all about picking where I spend my allowance.

I do think that the game is a nice distraction but any player should set ground rules. Only play a set max of hours a day. For me that would be 2 to 3. Set a online curfew if you have to work or be somewhere in the morning. For me the curfew is 10 pm. If you are married do not have an online romance. It’s cheating and I don’t recommend cheating on your spouse ever. There is the two cents I owe you.

From the Poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

Poet at Large Reviews, Book, Rejiggering The Thingamajig and other Stories   Leave a comment

Rejiggering the Thingamajig is a collection of short stories by Eric James Stone.  It is a book that is hard to read all at once because unlike a novel you have to stop and think between stories where as with a novel the story runs chapter to chapter.  Some of the stories are funny some of the stories are scary, but all of them make you think and I find that to be a good thing.  I would recommend this book, but warn that like an elephant you have to take it one bite at a time.  You will find adventures in realms that you have never conceived of, and twists on old themes that take you for a different ride than you ever expected.

From The Poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

Poet at Large Reviews, TV, The Guild   Leave a comment

There is a TV series I found on Netflix called The Guild.  It is a parody of the worst possible situation when one gets addicted to a MMRPG or Massive Multiplayer Role Playing Game.  One of the best known MMRPGs is World of Warcraft but there are others.  The show is very funny and the characters both lovable and pitiable,  even if some times you do want to slap them.  The show begins when a female member of a online playing guild has a male member of her guild show up baring flowers and seeking a real life relationship when she has never met him or any other members of her guild in real life before.  The antics of her and her guild mates as they try to balance real life with online lead them into troubles and deeper friendships as the series continues.  The sixth season episode has appearances from Brent Spiner (Star Trek: TNG), Grant Imahara (Mythbusters), Kevin Sorbo (Hercules), Stan Lee (God of Marvel Comics) and many other popular stars.  I do recommend the series for anyone who likes comedy video games and science fiction/Fantasy.  Even if the characters are parodies you might see a bit of yourself in them, and if you can still laugh you are better for it.

On a different note the addiction to MMRPGs is worth studying.  I will be trying out some of the more popular MMRPGs for review.

From The Poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

Poet At Large Reviews, TV, Warehouse 13   Leave a comment

I spent a good part of last week sick in bed.  During that time I discovered something on Netflix.  There is a TV show called Warehouse 13 based on the idea that since ancient times men have locked away the most dangerous artifacts that exist.  Things ranging from Timothy Leary’s reading glasses to the Arch of the Covenant.  The show is well written very exciting with the action and  the characters are believable and lovable; the episodes worth watching more than once.  I recommend that people who love Science fiction and fantasy get a bowl of popcorn and sit down for a treat with this series.  Also be warned that some of the actors and characters from the hit series Eureka show up in episodes of Warehouse 13.  They make for a fun hello to another good series to watch.

From the Poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

Poet At Large Reviews, Book, Vader’s Fortress   Leave a comment

It has been a goal of mine to read and review something from every author I have met in my time at conventions.  I only Briefly met Rebecca Moesta some 6 years ago I have had almost no contact with her since then so my choice of her books was just what was on the top of the list at my local library.  That is how I came to read Vader’s Fortress, a Junior Jedi Knights Novel originally printed in 1997.

The Junior Jedi Knights Novels may be short but they are a challenge to a writer.  How do you write something that stands alone and follows an extended story arch like a television show.  How do you stay true to the grandness of the Star Wars Legacy and create a fresh look at the same time.  The notion of following the children of Han and Leia through their training is a good idea.  Many authors will follow the challenge but not all will be able to succeed

I do believe that Ms. Moesta does manage to make a story that is true to the universe it is in and on the level of the younger audience it is meant for.  As well as standing alone enough for one to understand while compelling you to want to know what the other stories in it’s arch are.  It is enough to give me hope that any other books of hers that I read will be as enjoyable if not more so.

From The Poet’s mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

Poet At Large Reviews, Book, The Alloy of Law   Leave a comment

The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson is the latest tale of the Mistborn world.  Three-hundred years have passed and an industrial revolution has brought the world to a time of electric light, trains and repeating fire arms.  There is a wild west in this world but it has tribes of Koloss instead of Indians.   Enough time has passed that we find people who have both Allomancy and Feruchemy, which are very cool magic forms based on the use of metals.  I found myself as drawn to the charachters of Waxillium , Wayne and Marasi as to the characters of the first trilogy.  There is an underdog quality to Sanderson’s characters that makes you fall in love with them.  I have found it to be this way with all of his books.  The princes are not so high on their pedestal that common men can’t understand them.  Even the villains have such human qualities.

In this book most of the action takes place over only a short time span that leaves a person wishing they had the Feruchemical ability to store breath described in the book.  Alloy of Law is a Treat to the story seeker.  The details of the world make it so easy to picture.  When Legends meet their worshipers and become people that is where the true story is found.  I look forward to the next instalment of this new trilogy.

From The poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron