Skyrim Live Action


Happy Halloween everyone!

This is what I should have gone as... theres always next year..

Follow this link for some gaming-inspired Halloween costumes.. and this one.


Small Burst

Heroes 6 strategies

Not much to write about these days; I've been consumed with home activities, editting photos from my photoshoot and been watching the Staw Wars: Clone Wars animated series.

When I have time, I do play Heroes 6: Might and Magic. I'd say the game easily out-performs all of it's predecessors.

Here are some strategies I employ:

1. On the first turn, I normally build a tavern and purchase a hero with the same two units that comes with my initial hero.
- this gives you a stronger hero to tackle early monsters in the first week and allow to you take less casualties

2. For the next few days, depending on the resources you have, I'll try to make as many Town Hall improvements as possible.
- building a creature dwelling only gets you that creature and no additional benefits for the rest of the week
- building a Town Hall upgrade will give you more money for the rest of the week

3. Normally around the 4th or 5th day, I'll start building creature dwellings
- i'll never upgrade any dwellings and concentrate on different dwellings, possibly using the Marketplace to purchase crystals when needed

4. Don't forget your initial hero comes with a skill point!
- spend it on your first turn before you do anything
- I like to spend it on Enlightenment; a stronger hero makes the army stronger

5. Save skill points when you are about to hit lvl 5 or 15
- by saving a points, you get get 2+ tier 2/3 skills at lvl 5/15 instead of only 1
- tier 2/3 skills are usually much better than tier1

6. Use your second hero as a mule
- concentrate your army in one hero for the first few weeks, and have your secondary hero be the mule which concentrates solely on picking up loose resources
- your main hero should only pick up artifacts and treasure chests for experience
- when you have 2+ towns, should you have 3 heroes

7. Initial trait: resources, tarot card or money
- I normally always go the 5 extra resources; money is always plentiful, and the tarot card doesn't seem to make a big difference

8. For those that don't read (which is moot b/c then they wouldn't read this), the "Mass" spells or abilities are normally 1/3 the strength of single target spells.
- normally I only cast "mass" spells when there are 4 or more creatures it will affect otherwise it isn't really worth it


PvE Scenarios

I was reading (yes! Its been a busy month or so) Hunter's entry and he talks about WoW's own interpretation of public quests. I personally haven't read up too much about WoW's new expansion, mostly b/c I don't intend on playing it and thus don't care, but the descriptor of "PvE Scenarios" piqued my interest.

Instead of having PQ's that was an amazing way to tell a story and get people to work together without knowing it, (that eventually dwindled due to high emphasis on pvp in WAR), what happens when you make it something you queue for in an instanced situation? It adds a new layer to the game that creates a fun, engaging environment; I loved PQs in WAR and am very glad its being translated into all MMOs now, but was disappointed when they werent being used in higher levels.

By making people queue for an instanced PQ, you get the necessary amount of people that can do something they enjoy doing. The drawback being is that it is instanced and not part of the game world and that you need to possibly wait a few minutes for one to pop is a small price to pay. Countless times in WAR, when you're in even tier 3, the pve area is deserted; everyone was in the pvp area where the rewards were much greater.

I believe in most mmo's these days, the rewards are greatest in pvp closely followed by raid rewards. Although PvE Instanced (PQ) rewards would be quite lower than either of those, I would still be greatly interested in taking part in that and would be my main source of recreation


Serenity Now

I had written a huge paragraph rant of all the unfair things that are frustrating me to all hell, and then I look at that photo of mine.. and can't help to feel better. Thanks. 

I was a bit saddened when I realized that these great photos of my first photoshoot cannot be printed and displayed prominently. Because its of a pretty girl that isn't my girlfriend. And must be relegated to a portfolio instead. I wanted to display is proudly like a CEO that framed a dollar of their first sale of their new business.


Does Not Compute

This is why I don't like the growing trend of needing to be connected constantly to be able to play PC games.
There is nothing wrong with my internet, and there is nothing programmed wrong with my settings (firewalls, virus protection)that is causing me not to enjoy a game that I rightfully paid for. Its the companies server that is down (pssst this isn't an mmo). And the user suffers because of that?


Heroes 6 by the way is amazing, but not liking the constant connection requirement.


Jasey Rae Photo Session

Had a fantastic day today. Had my first official photo shoot.

7+ hours.
595 photos.
Strobes, umbrellas, lights.
Makeup, curling irons, heels.
Countless outfits.

I learned a few things today:
- you should know your model; special features, tattoos, personality
- lighting is so critical; without it, you shouldn't waste your time (or your options are limited)
- have a large mental repertoire of angles and posed you want your model to do

- clean your surroundings; no loose pop cans or containers that distract the eye
- watch out for loose backdrops; they tend to get rumpled and will be a distraction too
- bring snacks and drinks
- bring a fan; to cool you, your model and provide an air source for flying hair
- extension cords are important
- bring all your lens; I found zoom lens were much more versatile than prime
- get that 'ladder-box' so you can change your angle of shot
- bring music! something to get your model going
- be vocal, give praise loudly and coach your model in doing positive things
- use the time when the model is being prepared by the makeup artist to get the lights and next set ready

Will be posting more photos here, but the bulk on my Deviant Art website.
Hope you're all having a great weekend too! 


Matrix Pre-loaded

Not much happening these days... tried to pre-load Heroes: Might and Magic 6 last night... woke up this morning to find it somehow stopped and was downloading at a blazing fast speed of 30kb/s.... And when I tried to resume today, it had forgotten I downloaded 4gigs and started from the beginning. Fannnnntastic

Hopefully will have good news on Monday; will be doing a studio photoshoot with a model and makeup artist on Saturday.. ill post some good ones.


Insomnia part 2

I gave Deus Ex:Human Revolution an honest attempt but I've found out that its not my type of game, and that is unfortunate, b/c it is a great game. I imagine that if you like games such as Splinter Cell or Assassin's Creed, it would be up your alley. It made me realize, and my best friend reminded me of it, that i'm more of a berzerker than a ninja.
A kamikaze!
I may have light footsteps and am quiet but the similarities stop there; I don't have the patience in Deus Ex (and maybe games in general) to wait and just watch an opponent. I want to run in there and get my hands dirty. It also sucks that when you do trigger an alarm in the game, you need to be extremely precise and not go wild with you ammo. I'd come in guns blazing, ready with a melee weapon when everything is exhausted.  
I totally understand this comic now.
I didn't like how the game guided you to expand your skills to be stealthy and a hacker, while there were boss fights that required you to have alot of toughness, big weapons, or play very craftey and wear down the opponent. Its funny; even on the easiest difficulty in DE:HR, you will die after being shot about 5 times, and about the same for normal (armored)enemies. But then you face the boss, which just means they are more augmented (see: less flesh, more metal) and they will take 10+ shots to the head of a shotgun.

I think ill just stick with waiting for The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim.


I was reading Bronte's article on heirlooms in WoW and it got me thinking..

1. Do you like the idea of heirlooms in games?
I think its a cool idea but a character shouldn't be fully equipped with them. One or two pieces, per character, max, should a character have. It would be better if we could start with a heirloom item right from character creation.
My Heirloom
2. How would you like it implemented?
Quest-based. Every milestone (5/10 levels) you'd need to do an interesting personal story quest that would enable your heirloom to contine to grow in strength.
Experience-based. Wearing the gear while gaining experience would be tracked and would increase in strength. Experience could be meeting certain requirements (kill 10 bears while equipped, or completed "named" quest, defeat boss of this dungeon). Being that alot of us are achievement oriented, this would be something we'd do.

3. If you had a choice, would you heirloom a weapon or armor?
I would heirloom... a weapon.


The Last Day

Since it feels like I haven't blogged in ages.. another one..
When I went to the Toronto Fan Expo a month or so ago, it was the same day that my girl friend ended up in the hospital. It wasn't life-threatening, but still pretty serious. I wanted to get her something that would cheer her up ... and I ended up getting fleeced. You think its a good deal, but then you go to some Chinese strip mall and they have the same thing for 70% cheaper... guh.


(Woah look at this; a non-MTG entry! There should be less now that it released and I tried Deus Ex, so maybe ill write about that later)

Reading Spinks' article on grinding and it made me think of my gf who simply, has played more mmos than you and me (its a really high number). In these mmos include both free to play and subscription-based mmos. I've never liked the FTP ones as i've found it incredibly repetitive and grindey.

What was triggered when I read Spinks' article is the allure of grinding: its constantly winning.

Think of it; if there are no 'greater' purposes to the game (say questing, or pvp)other than grinding your levels, then making sure you survive and get to high levels is basically winning.

I now understand grinding.


Ruling: Illusions

Everyone likes to be right.. and I dont typically like to argue... so i'd never be on a debate team. But I was right again.

"The Bear was still targeted. When Lightning Bolt was cast targeting Phantasmal Bear , the Bear's sacrifice trigger was put on the stack. Since the trigger is already on the stack, using Redirect or Cancel will not save it.

Think of it this way: since Redirect can only pick new targets for a spell, that spell still had to have old targets."

People should know: I only play honest; I don't like to be dishonest or cheat to get my way because winning that way is honorless.

Innistrad Launch Party

So my group of friends had our MTG:Innistrad Launch party last night; it was the five of us; playing 2headed giant and free for all formats. My ending record was.. 1-4...eeek.

I'm a very aggressive player.. I play on the edge, relying on brute force, rather than trickery and deception. I'll easy give up life to get the power I need. This obviously sounds like a red/black type of deck.. though I don't really have a good enough deck to do so. Or more to the point, I think my decks are more made towards 1on1 (even Emperor) combats, rather than FFA matches.

My friends got some amazing mythic rare cards which I'm extremely jealous of.. equipped in their decks now.. whereas I don't have even 1 mythic in any deck, my ginger friend has 3. Am I making excuses to the number of loses? Kinda. But those that have played MTG, when playing with a non-mythic rare deck, versus one with them, it is a game changer when they are played.

On a FFA match between Red, Hunter and I, my usual aggressiveness with my vampire deck was the cause of my downfall. Instead of just waiting it out to let my trump creature just make all my opponents sacrifice their creatures, I attacked when Hunter has no defenders. It was a perfect time to make him lose half his health....
But then he played Rebuke... And the next turn, I was out of the game.
It looked like Hunter was going to win that round with his 6-7 werewolves on the field and Red struggling to stay alive with her weak 2/2 zombies, when on her last and most important turn, she pulled this: 

And what was a sure win, ended up as a loss for Hunter and a win for Red. When I had come to their house, Hunter was already on the losing end of a 1on1 match due to the exact same card too.

Winning against people with mythics when you're not using any is a tough situation, but it doesn't bother me too much; the game is balanced and there are always ways around it. 
Another of Red's card and what was used against it the next turn before she could turn anything into a controllable vampire.
I must say, Hunter is very much a strategist; always waiting to pounce at the RIGHT time with backup contingencies.... unlike me..

Lastly, I find that FFA is a very different type of game, requiring a different strategy. You need to:
- appear very weak and insignificant but at the same time be able to defend yourself to cause your opponent to think it is a waste to attack you
- at the same time, be able to do spike damage to an opponent and take them out quickly before they can retaliate

- Vigilance is perfect for an aggressive deck or a person that likes to attack and not worry about holding back creatures to defend
- aggressive strategies should be concentrating on a 1 turn punch out and shouldn't last more than 2 turns otherwise the other people will attack you, to save the losing person UNLESS they have a vendetta against them too
- don't p!ss off people; people will continue to attack you, even to their own detriment in FFA games 

- deathtouch is a good ability to keep people from attacking

Every single round, I drew the ire of a player and we would beat each other up causing us to both to be eliminated shortly.

A balanced deck is also pretty important. On the second turn my ginger nemesis, Red, cast this curse on me
Which basically ended up slowly killing me. Though no creatures ever got through thanks to my good (maybe see: cheap) Wall of Denial, I didn't have any Naturalize spells to destroy that enchantment. Nothing is worse than being plinked to death.
Except maybe redirecting a killing blow spell back at my attacker which kills them instead.

All in all, it was a fun night despite the losses. I got some good cards and a booster box waiting to be opened with the gf. I saw the power of werewolves. Glad that Red and Hunter have different decks, albeit very powerful.