Tenfold Hate

My Pretty (Yule Festival) Pony
December 21, 2008, 11:40 pm
Filed under: Lord of the Rings Online


Here’s a pic of my guardian’s Yule Festival Pony–one of the many cool rewards for participating in the seasonal quests around Middle Earth this time of year. Though the shot came out a bit dark, note the snowflakes on the saddle blanket.

FYI, turning in five Yule Festival tokens to the dwarves didn’t garnish me as fine a reward as this Christmas steed–I walked away from Thorin’s Hall with little more than two lumps of coal! Guess I’ve been a bad dwarf this year…

New Wolverine Trailer
December 15, 2008, 4:04 pm
Filed under: Comics, Film

I’m approaching this spring’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine with severe reservations, based mostly on the extreme suck that was the third installment of the X-Men franchise. But I’ve gotta say, this trailer has piqued my interest. First off, if I’d been editor-in-chief at Marvel in the early nineties, I’d have squelched fleshing out Wolverine’s origins in the first place. I always thought his story played out better veiled in mystery than the stories of Victorian-era Canada fleshed out during a time when Marvel really hit an all-time low in terms of storytelling.

Anyway, this trailer is a mine field of nods to comic book geekdom, which I’m always a sucker for. However, this is dangerous territory, because it provides enough filler to make a trailer look awesome without suggesting any substantial plot. You’ll notice everyone from Emma Frost and the Blob to a young Storm and Gambit making cameos. But nods to nerd-dom does not a movie make–that’s where Last Stand failed. They culled superficial elements of X-lore, put them all in a blender, and added explosions.

Hopefully Jackman and company can flesh out a coherent, gripping story that doesn’t pee all over the existing lore, something Last Stand was not able to do on any level. Liev Schreiber looks like a great choice for Sabretooth and I always find Hugh Jackman likeable. And from the brief clips of them together, the two actors nail that antagonistic anti-chemistry Logan and Creed have for each other.

It’s hard to say what the worst Marvel adaptation has been. For me it’s a three-way tie for last between Fantastic Four, Elektra, and Spider-man 3.

Check out the trailer here!

December 12, 2008, 9:29 am
Filed under: World of Warcraft

A friend sent this to me this morning. I’m not sure how long this classified will be around, but apparently, some woman who is REALLY into Warcraft is LF someone to make sweet love to as she plays arenas. This link is certainly NSFW. I’m assuming it’s a total farce, but hey, I’ve heard of much stranger fetishes than this one. Different strokes for different folks.

Curse You LoTRO, I Can Never Chuckle Smugly at Crafters Again
December 11, 2008, 2:03 pm
Filed under: Lord of the Rings Online

Last night I spent the better part of the evening completing the cooking quest that rewarded my guardian with access to superior ovens. This involved a lot of hopping back and forth between my historian (who was farming most of the ingredients–and by farming, I mean planting crops and harvesting them, not “farming” as MMORPGers have come to know it) and my tinker (who cooked everything and spent the night running from town to town, delivering the hobbits their freshly cooked meals). My night as a glorified medieval pizza delivery boy garnered me just under 2500 xp upon completion.

I always chuckled smugly inside when people listed crafting as one of the important features of an MMORPG. But LoTRO has managed to convert me. Again, I attribute this to the way they weave the MMO tasks we’re all too familiar with into their carefully constructed world with top-notch storytelling. It’s a pleasure just to BE in Middle Earth, and that antsy, “C’mon, c’mon, what’s next?” that quickly takes hold when I’m playing an MMO is still curiously absent. There’s something very Zen about the world Turbine created. It’s relaxing. The detailed artistry conveys a true sense of atmosphere and place, from the music to the water textures.

I feel like giving myself a swift kick in the ass for not delving into LoTRO sooner. It’s pretty exciting to revisit my preconceptions and uncover something unexpected. It suggests I may very well still be receptive to what the current MMO world has to throw at me if it’s done right. Nothing like a healthy dose of STFU for my cynical “been there, done that side” every once it a while. And that’s what LoTRO has served up–and its tasting pretty good.

Atari and Cryptic: Two Great Tastes That Taste Great Together?
December 9, 2008, 9:28 am
Filed under: MMORPGs

Just got the news over at Massively. Despite any prior indication that this was coming around the bend, it appears Atari has acquired Cryptic Studios. With the resources required in this day and age to put out a “Triple A” MMORPG, I don’t see anything wrong with smaller studios getting an economic piggy-back from larger companies. Anything in the current economic landscape that gives MMORPG studios a bit more survivability (as long as it’s not accompanied by total creativite compromise) is probably a good thing.

Why So Serious?
December 6, 2008, 9:37 pm
Filed under: Lord of the Rings Online


One of the many reasons I love LoTRO. Don’t know what these two are so uptight about, but I kinda felt like Ozzy pissing on the Alamo as I did a handstand in such noble company.

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Peculiar Blast From the d20 Past
December 1, 2008, 1:47 pm
Filed under: Dungeons & Dragons, Fantasy

If you played D&D in the eighties–or picked up an issue of Dragon magazine during that era, you’re probably familiar with this man’s work. Though the name David A. Trampier might not ring any immediate bells, you’ll recognize his distinctive fantasy illustrations if you were an RPG player back in the day. I’d love to find a solid online resource of his work since judging from this article, we won’t be seeing any printed anthology anytime soon. I found an old Angelfire site with an archive of the Wormy series he did for Dragon, but the links were dead. And god only knows who owns the rights to the artwork from all those old TSR rulebooks (Wizards of the Coast, presumably?).

I did manage to find a post over at Loth Beg with some nice examples of Trampier’s classic work for the unindoctrinated.

His work brings me back to a time when I had little more than a weekly allowance and my imagination to get me through the day. I bet a lot of these guys don’t realize what value their work had to younger people during the post-information highway age. Makes me wanna take a white crayon to a four-sided die…