Free Stuff!

I’ve had the good fortune to have been gifted with a number of free gaming-related treats lately. Thought I’d take a moment to show off.

Dungeons and Dragons: Meet Mai

First, an artist friend of mine — the talented Jennifer Luu (jennifer0luu @gmail .com) — kindly offered to do a sketch of Mai, my most played character in D&D.

Artwork of my D&D character, Maigraith Numin, by Jennifer LuuI love it. The hair is spot-on.

ESO: New styles

I’ve also gotten some gifts in ESO.

Firstly, I won a new outfit slot courtesy of Chestnut from Gamer Girl Confessions for participating in IntPiPoMo at the end of last year. My thanks to her for her generosity. Due to logistical issues, it took a while for the slot to be delivered, but I’ve got it now, and my Bosmer is now sporting a shiny new look (click images for full size).

My sorcerer's new outfit in Elder Scrolls OnlineIn contrast to her normal tribal look, I wanted something more formal to show off her Aldmeri pride. Something she could wear while meeting with the queen. I did still include some bone elements as a nod to her more savage Bosmeri heritage.

My sorcerer's new look in Elder Scrolls OnlineThe developers have also been giving away free stuff. Following their racial rebalancing (which has rather ruined my main’s stealthiness, much to my dismay), they handed out a bunch of race and name change tokens. My main got a new surname to bring her in line with my current character naming conventions, while my warden used a race change token to alter her appearance, which I’d never quite been happy with.

My warden's new look in Elder Scrolls OnlineI’m still not sure I’m happy with it, to be honest. She looks a little harder than I’d like her to. It’s shockingly hard to make a High Elf in this game who doesn’t look like an awkward alien. Well, I still have two more tokens if I want to take another crack at it…

My High Elf warden's new look in Elder Scrolls OnlineFinally, I have also completed the grind to evolve my Nascent Indrik mount. As is so often the case with grinds like these in MMOs, I lost my passion for it about halfway through, came to view it as an unpleasant chore, and began questioning my sanity for continuing with it, but stuck it out to the end out of a sense of obligation borne from sunk cost fallacy.

My evolved Indrik mount in Elder Scrolls OnlineAt least it’s a nice looking mount.

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What I’m up to + New Article

I haven’t really done or experienced anything lately that deserves its own deep-dive post, but I thought I might do a quick run down of the various nerdy passtimes I’ve been engaging in as of late.

Official art for the audio drama Welcome to Night ValeFirst, after finishing Limetown, I bounced around for a bit, trying different podcasts before I found one I like: Welcome to Night Vale.

The friend who first recommended Night Vale went on and on about how indescribably weird it was and how I just had to experience it for myself. I thought he was exaggerating.

He was not exaggerating.

Welcome to Night Vale is spectacularly strange. The best way I can describe it is it’s like Douglas Adams on acid, with a hefty dose of conspiracy theories and Lovecraftian influence. It takes the form of a community radio show operating out of a small desert town that appears to exist in a surreal alternate universe dominated by a ruthless totalitarian government and filled with eldritch horrors as a matter of every day life.

I think?

It’s best described as a dark comedy, but it really is unlike anything else. My only complaints are it can be a bit samey, and that the overwhelming scattershot weirdness prevents it from being as relaxing as you might expect from such a silly show. It really demands your full attention.

On the reading front, the most interesting book I’ve read recently is Diablo’s Book of Adria. This continues the series of lorebooks that also included the Book of Cain and the Book of Tyrael.

As with its predecessors, it’s a beautifully made book full of stellar artwork. I was a bit disappointed by the lack of any significant new lore revelations, but it does provide a very interesting insight into Adria’s motivations as a character. I wouldn’t say it makes her more sympathetic per se — she remains a viciously ruthless schemer — but it does provide some nuance to her beyond the power hungry madwoman one might take her for at first glance.

All in all, I’d say the Book of Adria is less revelatory than the Book of Cain, but more interesting than the Book of Tyrael. I’d recommend it.

When it comes to gaming, I’ve little to report. Still messing around with ESO and feeling very ambivalent about it. I’ve been trying to get my consular caught up in the story in SWTOR, and I’ve started running my TSW homebrew mini-campaign in D&D, but I’ll have more to say about both those things later.

Finally, I’ve had another article published at MMO Bro, in which I discuss the importance of stability in MMO design.