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Monday, 22 August 2016

Studying and keeping a blogging schedule


"Hey, I've found a way to know how you're doing!" my friend Marinka declared on voice chat. We just landed our evil inquisitor duo on Balmorra. "Oh?" I knew she meant 'without asking you'. I always know what she means. "Yeah, it's easy:" she continued, "if you don't blog for a while, things are obviously not well."
Blogger Widgets

Monday, 8 August 2016

Should you start playing SWTOR anno 2016? The game from an endgame perspective


Playing a lot of Lord of the Rings Online lately has had a strange side effect: four of our LOTRO gamer friends have now started playing Star Wars: the Old Republic. Discussions on voice chat about LOTRO's class balance and gear grind made Conrad and I bring up SWTOR. Our friends started out last week and three of them are aiming to hit level 50 already tonight, so they can come along for their first raid! Indeed, raiding was their primary decision to give the game a go. This got me thinking. What is it like to start playing SWTOR in 2016?

It is easy to forget how awesome the MMO you're playing is when you've played it for years, seen all the content and are waiting for new. I am also 'guilty' of this: in recent articles I've been criticizing the lack of new group content or plans to make it in SWTOR. When you are new to the game, though, there is much to see and the amount of content to play through is overwhelming. The current Dark versus Light event serves as an extra incentive for my new guildies to get to level cap faster.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Drawing diary: July


Drawing for me is not just about skill, it's also a psychological challenge of sorts. You never know exactly what the result will be beforehand. It is addictive, yet damn scary. Confession time: there's always a barrier I need to pass before trying something new, even though I know I'm just drawing for my eyes only and nobody else would care if the result sucks. In July, I tried not to be a whimp and drew a lot of things just for the heck of it.

Of course I'm screwed, because I'm going to post them here for everyone to see even if I'm ashamed of the result myself! With my degree of perfectionism, I wouldn't end up posting anything otherwise. And it's always interesting to read you guys loving the things I hate, and vise versa.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

LOTRO's Summer festival 2016 in pictures


Just one more day and Lord of the Rings Online's Summer festival is already over (4 August). I never used to be such a fan of festivals in MMOs, but as I get older and undoubtedly more boring, I find myself strangely attracted to them. This Summer festival offered pretty new rewards (making to the total amount to pick from absolutely overwhelming) and cute new quests. I'll walk you through them with this Summer festival 2016 photo report.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Playing Pokémon Go when chronically ill


One morning, about one year after I started Ravalation, I fell on the floor and couldn't get up again. It happened a few times that month, and ever since I'm experiencing chronic pain in my legs and extreme fatigue. An MRI scan revealed irreversible brain damage and from that moment onward it was clear my life would never be the same.

I will spare you the details of my journey onward, but for this article it's useful to mention that, as I had to give up most of the things I like doing, gaming suddenly became a more important part of my life than before. Physical activity makes me suffer more when in a lot of pain; gaming, however, requires little of it and creates a positive distraction so I am not aware of it as much. Due to my fatigue, I don't get out to meet people as much as I'd like anymore: I simply don't have the energy to spare. Voice chat allows me to still socialize with people on a regular base. I can definitely say gaming has saved me from isolation, in a way. But what about augmented reality?

If you read Ravalation regularly, you know that I loved the pokémon Game Boy games and that I couldn't wait to start playing Pokémon Go. There is one problem, though: the game revolves around moving around in the real, physical world to find pokémon, and it is necessary to walk distances to let eggs hatch. Because of this, I was a bit worried that I would not be able to enjoy the game. Nevertheless, I had to try. In this post I'll share my experiences of playing Pokémon Go while chronically ill. I am aware that everyone is affected differently by disabilities in some form or another and I definitely do not want to pretend that my story represents that of everyone in a similar situation! However, I could not write about my experience of playing Pokémon Go without mentioning my health: the two are strongly tied together. Thus I hope you'll forgive me that this post will be a bit more personal of nature than usual.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Knights of the Eternal Throne: more of the same

(Source: swtor.com)

Star Wars: the Old Republic's latest teaser about its newest Knights of the Eternal Throne (KOTET) expansion is just that: a teaser. We have a picture, a title and the promise that we'll fight for the eternal throne. Nevertheless, the announcement does reveal some things.

Friday, 22 July 2016

An expedition through LOTRO's frills: before and after


With Lord of the Rings Online's latest big update, three things were added to the game: interior housing hooks, frills and a new raid. The topic of most discussion? Frills. These improved grass polls, flowers and shrubberies are meant to make the in-game world more lively and realistic. Indeed, they were already implemented in all post-Mirkwood regions upon creation, and now they've been added to vanilla areas as well.

But LOTRO wouldn't be an MMO if a part of its population wouldn't dislike these changes to their familiar regions. I was curious myself how much had actually changed and started an investigation. It took some effort, but I managed to dig up old screenshots of five regions and revisited each in-game. I'm posting the before picture first, then the after one, so you can easily compare them. Go ahead and judge for yourself!