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Aug. 6th, 2006

Faulty wiring

(I'm writing bits and pieces of my story and assembling them elsewhere off my lj, but I thought this particular bit was amusing and was worth posting. People already acquainted with my mu* character will find this genderbendy all familiar ground. I've always found this fascinating, though very little of it has anything to do with me RL :P)
*****

By the time Azriel returned to the camp, the fire had been banked, the embers glowing redly in their bed of ashes. Even through the intervening space he could feel the welcome warmth through the ragged layers of his clothing. He didn't glimpse Caliah at first, nor the telltale gleam of her pale hair, but the faint, smoky fragrance of cloves drew him to her as inexorably as an invisible lead.

She was seated on a low-lying branch of a tree upon the perimeter of the camp, leaning against the trunk with the deliberate indifference that always masked her deeper turns of mood. She gave no sign of having noticed - or deigned to notice - his approach, her eyes dark in the shadows beyond the immediate circle of the fire, reflecting light in a faint, veiled gleam from beneath her hood.

Caliah had run out of cigarillos three days ago, and had taken to smoking a slender pipe instead; as he watched she slipped it into her mouth, and took a long, luxurious draw, exhaling with a sound very much like a sigh.

The scent of pipesmoke was somehow comforting, as if by it he could be assured of her presence; of late, he felt that there was very little he could measure his life against, or stake its worth upon. It was something unusual and remarkable to Azriel that he never felt as safe as he was with her close by, even if she hadn't gone to any great lengths to make him feel welcome. He became even more aware of this when she continued to ignore him, exhaling smoke gently into the enveloping darkness, her breaths long and easy.

"In Ispenthe, women smoke opium rather than Mezzarine leaf," he said after a long while, after he'd recognised her silence as one of acceptance rather than rejection of his being there. Even then, he almost felt as if his own voice were an unwelcome intruder.

She laughed almost inaudibly, a bare whisper of sound. "You shouldn't think of me as a woman."

Clothing, appearance - they're merely layers. They don't make the person, nor define what they are. You use them as tools to accomplish what you desire, I recognise that. But...Collapse )

*****

I have to remember this is a formerly advanced-regressing-into-the-medievalistic society, and superimposing the archaic thinking of the period on some bare-bones remnant of modern attitudes to gender have been extremely difficult for me to achieve with such unconventional characters, especially if I don't want to come off as sounding horribly sexist. xD I still have no idea how I'm going to do it, and I've been delving into some papers written on the evolutionary psychology of sex and gender, just so I can have some biological basis for this. I suppose that's saved me a lot of hair-pulling, at least. The Cal in the story is even more boyish, at least in build, than the MUD version. Going into a lengthy explanation about how she's biologically faulty isn't my cup of tea, but this seemed the best way to do it.

Although, this (thanks to redplasticglass's link) applies to Cal very much; she's always deliberate when it comes to acts of violence, but rarely afraid once she's committed. Though her dicing around, leadership and politicking is pretty male at that. People will inevitably ask, "Why don't you just make her a guy?" I can't, because it would rob the character of what makes her so unusual, and in essence, as Azriel remarks later, she plays the role of the guide among the main characters. You can figure out what that has to do with those with gender issues, I'm sure.
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Aug. 3rd, 2006

boys

Projects and a gaming break

The acquisition of Poser 6 means I'll be experimenting with this and Bryce on a little project I have in mind, so I won't be on L2 for a while. If you're wondering at the scarcity of entries from here on, I made an flist filter for concept/3d stuff that will be used in the project so people won't be spammed with my toons and pictures.

And on a totally unrelated note, my younger cousin taped a "Suou" on the back of an acquaintance's varsity jacket when he dropped by yesterday, after agreeing he bore some resemblance to Tamaki (hair-wise at least).

Jul. 28th, 2006

Juuousei

This show demanded its own entry rather than being lumped in with the update below. It's a beautiful but brief little SF/shounenish series with gorgeous characters, decent animation and a serious, well-thought out plot, give or take a few details that felt superfluous but had their own place in the story. Enjoyable, weird, flawed by the ending, but worth your time.

The tale takes place in the Balkan System, one of terraformed planets and colonies populated by the descendants of Earth humans. One of the planets, Chimaera, features a primitive and savage ecosystem in which plants are the dominant species and have evolved into advanced predatory forms. Apparently condemned criminals are dropped on Chimaera, and those tough enough to eke out a living have formed four "Rings" or settlements, into which the humans have segregated themselves according to their skin colour: Blanc (Caucasian) Night (black/African) Ochre (brown Asiatic and presumably Native American) and Sun ('yellow' or East Asian). Thor and his weaker brother Rai are abandoned here to their fate.
more on the plot, possible spoilersCollapse )
It doesn't hurt that the majority of the characters are eye candy, of course. Certainly. Zagi, with his odd blend of kindness and cruelty (a singularly unapologetic bastard while he's at it), and the clever, calculating and complex Third are my favourite characters. Thor is just too beautiful and perfect (and naive) for me to identify with, though I'd rather have him as a main character than the usual dull specimens that get assigned the prime role in other series. He seems genuine, at least; he reminds me very much of Pellaz (from Wraeththu). And like Pell, it doesn't hurt that he's easy on the eyes like the rest of them. Certainly not.

From the very beginning it wasn't hard to keep my attention on this show. It's easy to see why --;

Thor (Click for larger version).

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Third.
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Zagi.

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extra cappageCollapse )
The women are strong, but vulnerable and tragic characters. You can download the torrents here.

Jul. 26th, 2006

Ebook Library and Updates

Meet Saint, my pet SR (so named because she was originally in the Angels. Yay for inane naming conventions, I love it when I run out of ideas).
Click for larger imageShe has a Soulbow courtesy of a clanmate, Black Ore set that I crafted (cept for the Phoenix necklace) and a Doom Light set I borrowed, though I expect to complete Dark Crystal Light if I ever have time to do catacomb and raidboss rounds like Invincible, the clan I'm in, is inclined to do all the time x.x She's doing rather well, and had 5 kills in her last pvp, even if I'm some levels behind the majority of our enemies.

She's on a Netplague's 13x server that's essentially L2J ported to C++, though I expect in a few months this flavour of L2 will be defunct, due to the leakage of the official current server files into the private server community.  I managed to get a DC light top drop in DO, but my stroke of luck hasn't repeated itself. I managed to level a warsmith as well, since dualboxing is allowed on the server, and crafted top C for Saint (plated leather + emi) before I joined the clan. I avoided their low-rate server as I don't have the time for the endless grind. Most of FA have moved to either L2P's new server or retail (Immelman kept urging me to come to Kain as well, but I just don't have the time and money, as I might end up on retail for years or so. Needless to say I won't be going back to L2P either).


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I've not been gaming as much as before, as I've been attempting to write a story centred on the characters I conceived of during my text-based rping stint (Cal, Azriel, etc.) Expectedly it's been slow going, so I've been reading quite a few ebooks while I sit at the pc attempting to organise my thoughts. Some of the ebooks I have are in hardcopy on my shelf, but I find ebooks handier to read at the office than a book, since I don't have to tote them around and they fit on a PocketPC as well.

I thought I'd share a few that I'd downloaded and/or purchased. If for some reason they aren't selling the books in your country, some of you might want to download these. God knows I paid enough to acquire some from ebook stores (like Wraiths, cost me $20 USD at Fictionwise).

Please don't distribute these elsewhere. If you like these, I encourage you to buy the books. :)

Wraeththu Histories (second Wraeththu Trilogy)
The Wraiths of Will and Pleasure, Book 1 of the Wraeththu Histories

Kushiel's Legacy
Kushiel's Dart, Book 1 of Kushiel's Legacy
Kushiel's Chosen, Book 2 of Kushiel's Legacy
Kushiel's Avatar, Book 3 of Kushiel's Legacy

A Song of Ice and Fire Series
The Game of Thrones, Book 1 of A Song of Ice And Fire
A Clash of Kings, Book 2 of A Song of Ice And Fire
A Storm of Swords, Book 3 of A Song of Ice And Fire
A Feast for Crows, Book 4 of A Song of Ice And Fire

Enjoy, and let me know if you have any particular requests for ebook samples.

Jul. 10th, 2006

The Game

Congratulations to Italy for winning the World Cup :) Though I dislike having shootouts to decide the outcome of the finals, can't say they didn't deserve it.

Oof.

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Been reading George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, and Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar. The former outdoes the latter (Lackey's writing is sugary and insipid by turns) but Martin's narrative is sometimes too brusque, and often fails to evoke the right kind of mood for the setting by ignoring it completely. Stark as the Starks of Winterfell despite a decent plot, and reading Heralds makes me feel like I'm drowning in syrup and angst. Until I pick up my hardbound copy of Kushiel's Scion and start reading Storm Constantine's Wraiths of Will and Pleasure I suppose I'll stick with Martin and drop Lackey. Carey's prose may have been too much for some, but that lushness just made the story all the more delectable for me, flawed as it gets near the end of the Kushiel trilogy.

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Been playing my own little dwarf team on a Mobl2 GM's server (Netplague) just for casual fun, though I've been reprimanded by my Good Half more than once for playing too much :P L2 is an interest we (thankfully) don't share; I imagine we'd burn out far too easily if it were.

Jun. 19th, 2006

Best ever

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wc-fwo2Qz8Y

Ouran Kouku Club AMV to Avenue Q's "If You Were Gay."

I laughed so hard I nearly cried. XD

Jun. 7th, 2006

[L2] L2Myst



Believe it or not we moved a third time to a new server called L2Myst.

The owner, a Japanese-American dev who appears to code more than play L2, offered to let me GM on their second server but I declined. GMing is hard work and I don't have nearly as much time for L2 nowadays.

Character is a Necro-in-progress, and I've given up using any other handle than my own for new characters, as it's easier to find old friends across servers. And yet again old clans from L2-Paradise have showed up after the disappointment that was Mobl2.
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May. 24th, 2006

[L2/FIC] Sacrifice

by Caliah
Meant to be a drabble on the characters I'd thought up a long time ago. The writing is weak and needs a bit of editing, but I'm posting it here anyway before I make a final draft. Too lazy :3

Burning embers swirled into the night gloom, a cloud of fireflies adrift on the hot updraft. The heat from the ceremonial pyres seared the cool evening air and stoked the fires thrumming in the blood of the watchers, forcing a sheen of sweat from painted flesh; the drums rolled, a low, savage, relentless rhythm that goaded them to a frenzy, their nostrils distended, eyes gleaming and feral in the firelight.

From the sacred circle all shadows had fled but for that cast by the altar, and the figure bound and helpless upon its ancient, worn face. White against the granite her torn garments glimmered, tangled with pale limbs too slender for the heavy shackles that they bore; terror had frozen her features into an anguished mask, and the frantic struggling that had chafed her wrists and ankles to bleeding had subsided to a mere trembling.

Yet her eyes remained fixed on a point beyond the seething ring of worshippers; had her captors looked closer, they might have glimpsed her fingers curling, pressing against the unyielding bonds at her wrists, feeling for purchase on the rune-marked iron. Her lips moved soundlessly as if in prayer, dried blood dark at the corner of her mouth.
Read more...Collapse )

May. 5th, 2006

La Bleue Absinthe

World History, WoW-style

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So it's reputed that Swiss La Bleue absinthes (brewed by bootleg distillers in Val-de-Travers during the era of the absinthe ban in Switzerland, absinthe's country of origin) are amongst the finest in the world. After reading two posts on alcohol (one on the Fallen Angels forums and on LJ) and a discussion with a few friends, I tried to recall the brand of white absinthe (absinthe blanc or La Bleue absinthe) that I'd had a number of times with no success. But we did come up with two absinthe candidates that we've a desire to taste sometime in the near future.

One (Clandestine La Bleue) was actually mentioned in this article about the Swiss lifting the absinthe ban last year.


The other, the Edouard from Jade Liquors, is a faithful recreation of an antique absinthe by Ted Breaux (a former chemist from New Orleans known as the Absinthe Man on several forums).

Unfortunately it'll probably have to be somewhere else or a private home, as here what passes for absinthe in the bars appears to be the cheaper, less thujone-laced versions. As for the mystery La Bleue I imbibed, the only way to find out would be to go drink it again. Hooray.

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Mobl2 has had downtime like you wouldn't believe, so I haven't been playing L2 -or- GE like folks would have expected me to. The community of Mob consists of many different clans who moved to the server from others, including Eureka, so imagine my delight at encountering a lot of familiar names in the crowd. Too bad the server has proven uncooperative. At least it's given me time to take up old sports, like shooting hoops and pool with my mates (with a trip to the store for some beer, that's how all the talk about alcohol started).

Bear with me while I gather material for another game-related post.
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May. 3rd, 2006

[GE] Pimptastic time

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Gear: Fighter - Fleuret, Fencer's Hat, Chain Mail; Warlock: Robe of Hellfire, Aurora Bracelet; Scout: Studded Leather Mail, Ivory Homburg
Finally hit 52 yesterday and the wardrobe change I'd been waiting for :P

My warlock doesn't look like a barbarian buffoon any longer :P My scout on the other hand...bare chests are nice and all, but you'd think they'd try to make him look less like Michael Jackson.

I paid Wikipedia a little visit on GE's behalf, being the bored dork that I was at work. Before I went nuts...and after.

Apr. 29th, 2006

Gohatto (Taboo)

Okay, I know I watched this movie rather late, but I was on a Ryuhei Matsuda streak I guess and decided to have a look at it. I actually am no fan of his looks, but he seems to just pop up in a lot of the movies I end up downloading (including the live-action NANA movie), so...

Anyone watch this and have the same conclusion as me?Collapse )

Good movie overall, but I think the last few minutes were a little vague.

Apr. 28th, 2006

Granado Espada review

All right, I think I've played enough GE to post a review of the game. So far I've enjoyed myself, though not with the same intensity that I have in Lineage 2 pvp or sieges. The grind is definitely more tolerable in many respects, one of them being the multicharacter aspect of the game, which keeps things from getting stale.

(I want these poses)
Title: Granado Espada
Version: Japanese Open Beta
Year: 2006
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First Impressions: This MMORPG really, really reminds me of console rpgs. It's not just the party play but the effects and skills. The graphics have the smoothness and detail of console titles. Overall a very slick production, though the character selection outlines (the green polygons etc) kind of ruin the beauty of the game and interface. Easy to get the hang of.

Gameplay, Classes/Skills, Equipment, GraphicsCollapse )
PvP, PvE, Music, BonusesCollapse )

Overall: I'd say close to 7 out of 10 stars.

Apr. 27th, 2006

boys

Listening List

The Fray - How To Save A Life
Within Temptation - Ice Queen
Matchbook Romance - Monsters
Thirty Seconds To Mars - The Kill, Attack
Echo and the Bunnymen - The Killing Moon
People In Planes - If You Talk Too Much My Head Will Explode
The Raconteurs - Steady As She Goes

Mostly mediocre tracks, don't like them much except for The Fray and Thirty Seconds to Mars. Within Temptation is a Dutch band, somewhat orchestral tracks with a touch of Enya. She Wants Revenge would be better if they actually sounded different once in a while, but their tracks all sound the same. *spams*
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Apr. 26th, 2006

The Vanishing Generation Gap

From New York Magazine's "The Grupsters: The New Adulthood":

“All of the really good music right now has absolutely precise parallels to the best music of the eighties, from Franz Ferdinand to Interpol to Death Cab—anything you can name," says Michael Hirschorn, the 42-year-old executive vice-president of original programming and production at VH1. “Plus, the 20-year-olds are all listening to the Cure and New Order anyway. It's created a kind of mass confusion. I was at the Coachella festival last year, and the groups people were most stoked about were Gang of Four and New Order.”No wonder Grups like today's indie music: It sounds exactly like the indie music of their youth. Which, as it happens, is what kids today like, too, which is why today's new music all sounds like it's twenty years old. And thus the culture grinds to a halt, in a screech of guitar feedback."

"Remember, the Grup of today is the slacker from 1990 who, fresh out of college, ran smack into the recession and maybe fiddled around with a riot-grrl band, then got a job at 25 for a Web-development company where she wore jeans to work and played Ping-Pong and stayed late and covered her desk in rare Japanese action figures. Now that woman is 35, a VP at a viral-marketing firm, still dressing down because everyone knows that the youth market is where it's at, yet is scared to death she's going to ossify into the same kind of corporate stooge she swore she'd never become."



This article amuses me in that it actually named the bands i've been listening to lately in the article and "Stages of Gruptitude" (Echo and the Bunnymen for one) and that I don't know whether to pity or envy kids with parents like these. We want our parents to be respectable, and if possible, to carry themselves with class, style and dignity, and still understand what being our age requires of us. I for one am somewhat relieved mine would never get front-row seats at a rock festival, or show up at the same cafe my friends and I frequent :P tthough I suppose if your parents are the ones onstage with their band, there's no helping that).
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Apr. 27th, 2006

NOOOOOO

http://www.thefastandthefurious.com/main.html

*hears the anguished screaming of Japanese car scene fans worldwide*

OhgodTakumikillmenow.

EGGS, EGGGSSSS! (Oh well, at least it's Justin Lin directing)
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Apr. 26th, 2006

[GE] Portobello Quest Guide

Please refer to my previous quest guide to get to this point in the Coimbra/Portobello quest walkthrough :) As before this guide is completely original so please post if you find any mistakes or have any contributions to make. Credit to Bravura for helping me with the stubborn kanji and the skeleton locations.

Coimbra Quest Guide Part II: PortobelloCollapse )

Apr. 24th, 2006

[GE] Coimbra Quest Guide

I managed to reach Coimbra, the second town, and document some of the quests in this walkthrough ^^ As far as I know this is the first English walkthrough for Coimbra in the Japanese beta and is completely original, so bear with me if I missed anything. Note that these are several quests rolled into one for the sake of convenience.

How to get to CoimbraCollapse )

Coimbra Quest Walkthrough, Part ICollapse )
At the end of this series of quests you should have about 13,000+ Family points, some extra Vis, and the option to purchase 3 NPC cards (Lisa, Emilia and the armour-merchant) + 1 free Reboldeaux Soldier NPC card, as well as Idge's Second Prototype armour. I'll update this entry with more quests as I finish them. :) Currently I need someone to help me with the Japanese in the next part of the quest ><

Coimbra Quest Walkthrough, Part IICollapse )

Apr. 22nd, 2006

[GE] Granado Espada Notes

Fun Gallery (note what these guys are doing >.>):
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Top: What happens when the dungeon is full and you can't get in; last 3: a pimp; my team; the angel "guardian" in the third and second levels of Dungeon 1.

Since the ONRPG guides to the multi-character control 2 and 3 quests seem a bit confusing, I wrote up an L2Vault-style walkthrough on MCC2 and some notes on weapons, skills and stances. This entry will be updated as I find out more about the game/have time to write ^^ If you have anything to contribute feel free to post it here.

Multi-Character-Control 2 (MCC2) QuestCollapse )
Multi-Character-Control 3 (MCC3) Quest
Stances and SkillsCollapse )

(Note: Opt for either a warlock or a scout in the team, I must have the suckiest team in GE with my fighter/mage/gunner combo, I swear.)

Apr. 19th, 2006

[GE] Misadventures in Granado Espada

Thanks to tongari's comprehensive registration and startup guide here, we managed to get off to a good start in the Japanese beta of Granado Espada. I hadn't the time to do the MMC3 quest for my third character yet because I had to use the rest of my free time to level Frost @ Mobl2, but had enough time to learn some of the controls and the ins and outs of the game after an initial round in which I just wandered about hopelessly confused (turns out I'd forgotten to turn on Japanese language support for non-unicode programs).

I'll be releasing a quest guide for MMC2 because the npcs in the Japanese beta are in different locations, and it might help out those of you who are giving the game a shot despite the language barrier. In the meantime here are my characters:

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Fighting pose; doing "YMCA", I suppose?

Apr. 14th, 2006

NANA

I just watched the Nana live action movie + ep 1 of the anime and successfully d/led the live action ED, does anyone know where I can find "A Little Pain" by OLIVIA (the anime ED)? Consider this an mp3 request if ever, thanks :)

Apr. 8th, 2006

[L2] Exodus of the Angels

[17:58] <Whaiyun> Caliah is too pvp-frenzy to play RO
[17:58] <[FA]Cocotte> XD
[17:58] <[FA]Wik> lol
[17:58] <Caliah> :(
[17:58] <Caliah> I'm not..I suck
[17:58] <[FA]Gliver> RO is fucking carebear
[17:58] <[FA]Gliver> :/ 
[17:58] <[FA]Wik> yea i know 
[17:58] <[FA]Wik> RO blows balls 
[17:58] <[FA]Efiriel> <Caliah> I'm not..I suck - lol?
[17:59] <[FA]Efiriel> one of the best archers around says "I suck"
[17:59] <[FA]Efiriel> rofl
[17:59] <Caliah> :3
[17:59] <Whaiyun> I've never seen Caliah pvp
[17:59] <Whaiyun> wait i did once
[17:59] <Caliah> I didn't hit you ^^

So, after a bit of intarweb drama about being falsely accused of exploiting an in-game bug on the new 1x server (yes, we moved to the server hoping for the closest approximation of retail that a private server could afford) the Fallen Angels packed up and left L2P to a man.

After a pk spree that lasted several hours of course. Only one person escaped losing xp to us in Gludio (we pked everyone in the area several times), and it wasn't due to any bravery on his part :) At one time i had about 9 pursuers while i was red, and still managed to nip in and kill people who were careless in chasing me and got separated from their party. After dying and facing tougher opposition (they banded together) we bid the server goodnight and gave some of our items to the guy who died the most, a mage named Anonymous, who'd managed to be a good sport all throughout. The rest was amassed and given to the winner of our clan-sponsored pvp event.

Many of L2-Paradise's finest and most upstanding players are in FA, or were planning to join our ranks (including people who appear to be known across servers for their pvp skills). It didn't surprise me that Ken posted a reply to our farewell thread asking if he could change our minds on leaving. Of course it was too late by then (after PrincessChaos came into our channel specifically to flame us and accuse the clan of having known about the quest exploit long before we reported it), but I posted a reply nevertheless. Aiyana was banned from the forums for flaming on PT's thread.

FA's Farewell Thread:
http://www.l2-paradise.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8921

Aiyana's Rant (worth reading, really):
http://www.technodaydreams.com/l2p/fuckyoul2pclosed.php.htm

My PostCollapse )

Surprisingly, the mood has remained quite upbeat in the clan, and none of us are missing L2P quite so much. We are all moving to MobL2 when it wipes after its second phase of beta testing, one of the few non-L2J servers with a good population that has implemented c3-c4, A and S grade. Absinthe is staying as a siege/pvp char in Eureka, but archers have been nerfed because of their superior firepower. Ironically, they were unable to nerf archers' crit rate and strength of crits, so they just decreased their attack speed...on a class which takes the longest recovery time between hits due to the slow attack speed of bows. Brilliant x.x

We had three choices of server to move to: Abyss (A Russian server that claims to be L2 official dev but is really L2J; the Flowerboys moved here); Dune (Too carebear, who wants a server wherein you have to explain yourself and provide screenshots whenever you pk?) and MobL2, from the same people who run the MobRO Ragnarok server. The nice thing is there is a sizeable number of immigrants from other servers as well (Revo, Dune, L2x, L2P - ImmortalHeroes are also moving here o.O) Opening day is going to be pretty interesting; the people in this clan have always astounded me at how fast they are at grinding x.x PvP here we come.
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Apr. 5th, 2006

V for Vendetta

Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a bygone vexation stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it's my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V.

Mar. 28th, 2006

[L2] Cameos

After some chats with the FA people I managed to calm down considerably and regain my good mood - meaning I just took out my frustration on some hapless folk who had the guts to flag (which weren't very many at all). Five kills for me yesterday in a nearly foe-less server (FB are said to be deliberating on moving servers and have been noticeably absent) and Nidin stole a sixth, a rather vapid SR who thought it would be funny to follow me around and flag, from under my nose after I'd critted him (I discovered not much later it was Manowar, a guy who'd been chatting with me on irc :P). Pvp is pretty hard to come by these days, everyone just runs or refuses to flag.

Note (especially for the Maustrap people): you -can- take a castle with just a handful of people if there are no defenders. Since the sieges were cancelled for last weekend but the siege code was in effect, we decided to invade Dion and squashed the few Harpers who'd showed up at the castle (Slade included). There were perhaps ten to a dozen of us (just over one party), no siege golems - we just broke down the gate by dint of sheer stubbornness and a great many arrows. Crazy, huh? Evo/Relax did the same with Aden Castle about a week before.

Silly screenshots:
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A beautiful shot of Dion Castle from the air, using my unlimited zoom hack; our bunch of nutters at the Holy Artifact of Dion; what happens when FB pulls the "no-flagging-and-waiting-for-our-backup-party" stunt and think they can get away with it. It was Nahemah and Rascal's party, but I wanted to make it crystal-clear that being friendly with members of the opposition did not translate to going easy on them on the field. I had to pk their bishop twice since no-one seemed to want to go red at first, and Nahemah was one of my pvp points. x.x

Mar. 23rd, 2006

[L2] Hiatus

Getting too involved with this game is bad for your health, I know, but I can't seem to break the addiction just yet, mostly because I've had some small successes in learning how to pvp and siege properly. Secondly, the community has been somewhat receptive to a bumbling gamer such as myself, who likes to blab senselessly half of the time and hang out in Giran Square like a lost puppy waiting for the next party to pick her up.

Anyway, I've noticed that some of the admin have a decided bias against certain people, and I'd been wondering why the concerns of such small folk as myself have been going ignored for some time. "Small folk" meaning those who haven't memorised the particulars of their respective classes, and just play the game with half their minds on the code that works behind the scenes. I'm convinced Ken has a healthy dislike of me for some reason. I raised the subject of Snipe and Fatal Counter being bugged, and of all the people who posted their concerns in today's "#fixme" channel I was the only one thoroughly ignored. I waited my turn, and when the chance came I was just passed over. I tried again. No dice.

Thus, I think it's time for me to shelve my characters on L2P until the lowrate is established and test the waters on either Eternal Sins or another pvp-intensive server. MobL2 looked to be ideal from what I saw of their admins and bugfixes, but it went down and I have no idea whether the servers will be back soon. I won't make the mistake of revealing my gender either, unless asked directly. I'm sick of how online gaming communities cavort around the matter of your sex when your skills at a game should be considered first and foremost. I love L2-Paradise, and to me it's still the best server, but if it's one thing I can't stand, it's admins who don't give you the time of day or treat you like you're beneath their notice. Sure, they aren't paid to do their jobs, but taking on the role of an admin entails that you have an obligation to the community that you establish so long as they comply with the rules you set for them. I can take griefing, pvp, bugs, shitty drop rates, and bad clanmates, but when it gets annoying up-top, I know it's not in my best interests to stick it out.

And no, I don't want to move to a carebear server, if anything, I want more pvp than I've ever had before :P
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Mar. 22nd, 2006

[L2] Giran Siege and PvP SS

Unbelievably, we had a Giran siege even better than the last one. It was better-balanced because the defenders had the time to register, but the odds were still overwhelmingly stacked against us (10 clans attacking vs. about 4 defending Newhope clans and 3 parties from allied/friendly clans). The fight raged on for two hours without either side gaining a clear-cut advantage, but at the end the defenders persisted and won through to the flags. That was the end for the attackers, and even with thirty minutes left they didn't bother attacking again. I had perhaps about 40-50 kills for my three deaths, one-third of which were from the time we had our archers covering the gate and moat from the towers (we just mowed people down with constant fire), and another from a sortie that we sent from the rear of the castle in an attempt to break through to the flags.

Great vid by Phyro, with amusing shots of the victors at the end.
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=UBI4Q1GX
Mirror: http://tv.isg.si/site/?q=filebrowser/phyrek

The rest of the weekend following the siege NewHope seemed to have regained its enthusiasm for the fight and redoubled its efforts to crush FB.

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Seeing more red;my baby Plainswalker;yet another series of LoA pvp shots

It resulted in a lot of pvps in LoA, one in which FB didn't flag at all and we had to pk them outright...and the second, in which they flagged only for one round then refused to flag thereafter after they were killed and ressed. I only garnered 3 kills in this one because I arrived late, and no-one from their side wanted to flag for about an hour or so.

Mar. 18th, 2006

ff7, kadaj, gantz

[L2] More of The Usual?

[Caliah] You guys going for Antharas soon?
[Seek] i think so ;)
[Seek] i heard u are going this weekend right?
[Caliah] I'm getting tired of Eureka
[Caliah] No
[Caliah] I dunno
[Caliah] People are such noobs...
[Seek] that`s true
[Caliah] I can't find good pvp because as soon as we get there FB bsoes
[Caliah] Unless they are 100% prepared and have 2 more parties than us
[Seek] There`s always the same shit... zerging
[Caliah] It's stupid..then some of the new NH people are noobie
[Seek] that`s also true
[Caliah] like when we -did- catch up to FB half the people were left behind because the parties in front (Evo, Defiance) ran too fast and got themselves killed
[Caliah] ...
[Caliah] then after 1-2 deaths they (NH) give up...
[Seek] lol
[Caliah] I'm used to fighting against huge odds, not the other way around and having pussies for opponents...
[Caliah] It's not fun anymore.
[Caliah] Not compared to when AA was active and Empire was still around..at least nobody wanted to give up or bsoe when the two forces clashed
[Caliah] It'd last for a while then the losers would just go if they saw it was hopeless :P
[Seek] for us is not really fun at all ... we try to keep aour neutrality for now
[Caliah] It's not worth fighting atm anyway
[Caliah] I haven't seen a good pvp in two weeks or so
[Seek] yeah.. all i`ve seen in the last few days was zerging
[Caliah] and NH hasn't been merciless like they should have been
[Caliah] I mean, they saw a party of Nightwish and left them alone...then Nightwish zerged them (NH) along with FB in the last pvp
[Caliah] What did they expect, to be treated with honour?
[Caliah] I don't like Executorz' teamwork much, nor was I a fan of Inferno, but those clans would've killed that party without a second thought.

I'm not sure whether this is because I'm used to the kamikaze devil-may-care attitude of the Executorz and Merc before the fall of AA and Redfaction, but I'm really disgusted with both sides at the moment AND the server rates. I can understand if they're getting antsy about losing xp what with the sky-high cost of maintaining a 7x char at the moment because of borked adena drop rates, and how difficult it is to get a measly 4% on a 74+ char because of how FB loves to travel in swarms and pk small parties, but it really puts a damper on what used to be a good pvp server.

I'm currently leveling a secret Plainswalker on Aurora out of the desire to playtest an extremely quick, difficult-to-catch solo PK character. Archers are undesirable because of the high cost of maintaining one, and I don't want to have to hesitate on going red because I'm afraid of dropping my BoP when I'm alone. I'm too used to taking things into my own hands when I'm on a vengeful streak, and it's just too painful to have to cobble together a PK party as an HE.

The last good clan I was in was Dragonslayers (my favourite clans are always the small, hardcore pvp clans) and even untill now the former GD-turned-FB hate them for so totally kicking their asses. The majority of DS are in Relax now, but we're crippled by having a few newbie buffers. There's nothing quite as freaking annoying as a buffer who can't keep up with his party when they're running to pvp, or gets aggro and doesn't have enough sense to stay alive. Our SwS couldn't even keep up (wtf, and you're supposed to be the fastest class in L2) and our prophet died en route to ToI Floor 10...arrggh!
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Mar. 14th, 2006

azriel, bed, boyd

My Ride is Here


Introducing the Bombardier Embrio cycle (by the same company that makes Bombardier jetskis and snowmobiles), the epitome of cute on a single wheel.
http://www.brp.com/en-CA/Media.Center/Whats.New/1/09.07.2004.htm

I can imagine puttering around a campus on one of these in light metallic blue.
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Mar. 13th, 2006

girl, pillow, bw

[MMORPGS] Granado Espada

Granado Espada looks to be an awesome mmorpg. My only beef is that the gameplay looks very cartoony and video-gamish (think a mix of DMC and fighting games, wherein the damage is shown on the screen). Otherwise, I like the graphics and the look of the costumes/models; I've always had a weakness for Age-of-Exploration fantasy fiction. Now to wait for the English beta; someone in the Fallen Angels clan channel is playing Korean beta, the lucky sod.

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Gorgeous character models are close to their CG-movie counterparts on other games. I like the setup for the female gunner (she wears what looks like a French colonial uniform). I like the fact that the detail is understated, but that it's there, as is prevalent in most Korean mmorpgs. This attention to detail appears to be lacking or scanty in a lot of American productions.
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Apparently, hugging another character is an emote/social!
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Other GE links of interest:
http://ge.hanbiton.com/ (official site)
http://flaregamer.com/b2article.php?p=102&more=1
-----

SecondLife interests me, if only for the fact you can customise avatars and "sets" so you can film your own 3d movies. Here is an example of an in-game player-made movie that was scripted and shot using the creators' own textures:

http://bellsandspurs.com/_video/

Game website: http://secondlife.com

I still want to make an L2 movie, if only each bit of footage didn't eat up so much HD space. I'm lucky that my pc is at least buff enough for full detail and effects except during a siege.

Mar. 9th, 2006

boys

Parkour

I'd forgotten the title of a French movie I'd seen a long time ago, about French urban free-runners. The movie was called "Yamakasi" (after the very first outfit of parkour practitioners, or traceurs). It was a mediocre movie, but gave me some insight into the world of what is known as the French art of parkour. Seen as an extreme sport by some, parkour is a form of urban free-running wherein the objective is to move through a given environment, navigating the obstacles speedily and with elegance (and style, for those who want to show off "tricks," though that's not considered "true" parkour). It's more astonishing than it sounds; traceurs leap gaps between buildings, scale walls, skim railings and jump down staircases with astonishing agility and athleticism. David Belle is seen as the originator of this sport/lifestyle, and has figured in a number of commercials, stunts and movies. Many traceurs have also been hired as stuntmen, and some appeared in a Nike commercial. The BBC also featured David Belle in a commercial "Rush Hour."

"Rush Hour" David Belle hurries home for his favourite BBC programme :P Very well-made.
http://www.creativeclub.co.uk/prelogin/btaa/ads/bbc_rush_hour__rush_hour_.mov

Cellphone advert for Rogers phones with freestyle running/parkour
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3069606840916883949&q=parkour

"Run Escape Jump" from Luc Besson's Banlieue 13 (featuring David Belle). The stunts here were done without wirework or safety harnesses.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9182356545016189435

"Speed Air Man" by David Belle (watch him on the rock-climbing wall o.o)
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8225377365841858933&amp;q=parkour

"Dispersion" by VA-Parkour, an American parkour outfit
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6011665700902099143&q=parkour

Hamster Parkour!
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-440569079827396766&q=parkour

And bonus crazy OT video, some Korean guy playing the Mario theme on two electric guitars...he's good :P
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSzUe3ZQvxQ&feature=Views&page=1&t=t&f=b
Tags: ,
girl, pillow, bw

Seamanship! For Love!

*dies repeatedly*

http://www.jda.go.jp/JMSDF/info/event/cm_p/16cm.html

Recruitment ad for the Japanese Navy.
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Mar. 8th, 2006

ff7, kadaj, gantz

On L2P

[2:41pm] <Aibne> I wish the community in L2 Paradise will be good... not sucky ones where people just kill and hate you for no reason XD
[2:41pm] <Caliah> It's a bit brutal
[2:41pm] <Caliah> But I like it
[2:41pm] <Caliah> I'm probably one of the few rpers who stayed on and survived here..but I don't rp here.
[2:41pm] <Aibne> -_-
[2:41pm] <Caliah> One thing...earn their respect
[2:42pm] <Caliah> And the community will be good to you.
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Mar. 7th, 2006

boys

[L2] Snapshots of Eureka

I was touched that some Eureka players nominated my sorc as being the best of her class on the server on Connovar's Best of Class thread for both PVE and PVP http://www.l2-paradise.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6833 though I'd disagree and say Whisper was possibly the best-played high-level sorc on Eureka. I had holes in my gameplay in arena pvp and tended to get overly nervous in arena events. I know now how to beat certain classes on a mage, but I didn't know -that- back then. Where my sorc really shone was in sieges - and in mass pvp when people forgot to take her seriously; I had the enthusiasm and the drive for pvp but was lacking in skills. What really surprised and pleased me the most is that a few of them are from people I'd fought before (like Numenor). I just wish I'd played my sorc to the level that I'd seen of others nominated for the mage classes. I'd feel I'd deserve all of that then :)
Other people like Chedi and Bored I'm happy to see made the lists as I'd expected :)

Last weekend's sieges were a mixed bag; no-one attacked Dion, but the Giran defense was brilliant (it was just annoying that the clanleaders had either forgotten or neglected to register for the defense because of a lot of server downtime and the c4 upgrade). FB left its flags unattended, and after we'd regrouped and taken down all their flags they were caught between hammer and anvil when we met with Evo in the throne room.

Nice pics of the "defense line" at Oren..and the Flowers didn't show up. :(
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This is what happens when castle defenders are bored:
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The Defense of Giran Siege Movie: http://download.infernalcorps.info/Lineage2/Giran_NH.wmv

Feb. 28th, 2006

caliah

(no subject)

Chronicle 4 has just been released on L2P. C4 client is mandatory.

Built-in video capture and replay, woot!
(Can the guys wear hairclips? XD)

http://thepiratebay.org/details.php?id=3443448

*settles in for a long night of downloading*

Feb. 27th, 2006

azriel, bed, boyd

[L2] L2 Videos

This is my favourite siege video from retail, made by Harsiesis, a Phantom Summoner, in his clan's defense of Aden. The music I recognised as being from the Avenger anime's ending theme and Tao of the Machine from Blade II. It really is worth watching for the quality of the video alone.

I attempted to fraps a massive pvp that took place outside LoA between NewHope (Defiance, IFC, Relax, and Evo) and Flowerboys (UB, Imerc 1 & 2, Guardians) Bushido, and ImmortalHeroes (some clans I never bothered to get the names of). I got the itch to pvp halfway though so I demanded to join a party and have some fun. Just +1 kill though, Fraps really lagged me x.x The quality of the footage sucks because of my resolution, so I'm still working to salvage something from those clips. Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
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Feb. 26th, 2006

caliah

[L2] 9 vs. 9

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Remnants of FB's party of 9 that we killed a few days ago with our party of (relatively) inexperienced players (note Nahemah's reaction); IH still haven't learned much in PVP. Iamagoci and Sauron must hate me by now.

I will say this again: I absolutely love my Hawkeye :DCollapse )

Feb. 24th, 2006

ff7, kadaj, gantz

[L2] Class Choice and Updates

Updated my crafts and equipment list - I'd forgotten to add the new Doom Light set I'd crafted, my Necklace of Black Ore and the Phoenix Ring (A grade) I took off Edge when he was red. Absinthe now has a hybrid B and A grade jewel set, so her mdef isn't too bad for a class that has crappy mdef to start with. I obtained a Tallum Gloves drop today, so going back into LOA wasn't such a bad idea even if the gear itself is worthless to me. Sano got a Majestic Boots drop in Aurora, lucky bastard :(

I've narrowed my choice of class down to ES and PR. I feel I'm perfectly suited to be an archer - nothing quite beats the adrenaline rush of flagging and running with half the enemy party in hot pursuit XD and I love love the kiting and the crits. The only drawback might be that my conn + PC tends to lag horribly at the worst possible times (sieges) and when I take time off from playing the game my reflexes seem to suffer for it. Elemental Summoners require a different kind of gameplay however, and as I already have an HE the attractions of playing another class may be too much for me to resist.

Elemental Summoner

Pros: Doesn't really need to be particular with equipment, can get to higher levels on NG armour so long as he doesn't pvp often, no need to use bss unless in a tight spot. The pony's AOE is particularly useful during sieges, and I've thought of standing in the same place as a tank on a strider just to give point-and-click kiddies a hard time while I flag first (should I give my summoner a long and convoluted name?) :P

Cons: Hydro Screw was nerfed in L2P to 1/4 damage because of its sheer destructiveness on the field. Never pvped with a summoner before. Other classes tend to be easy targets for a party of buffed archers. I haven't gotten the "optimal rate" for grinding on a summoner.

Phantom Ranger

Pros: I've already played an archer and love it. Easy to level. Dark Elves are hawtness. Run speed should be better than my HE; nothing like the sweet sound of crits in the morning, and if I crit it would be pure pain. Hex. Drain. A well-played, high-level buffed archer in L2P is second to none.

Cons: Low con makes for low hp and an easy target to stun (my HE still gets stunned fairly often by higher level DAs and other HEs, difficult to contemplate with a DE). I'd be playing a male archer and there would be some confusion as to my identity :P PRs miss quite often, and their crit rate is low.

There's still quite a lot of time to decide, however, as the donations went for the new rack and more server space rather than a new server. Boo.

My sig now reads:
FallenAngels :: I want my LowRate!
Eureka :: Caliah : 7x Sorceress : (Retired) :: Absinthe : 7x Hawkeye :: KrispyKreme : 2x Artisan :: Ascelin : 55 Shillien Knight - Wiped
Lowrate :: Athren : Unknown
Other :: Cyrathe : 4x Elemental Summoner


And yeah, I forgot to put Azrael, but he'll probably be forever at 4x so...
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Feb. 17th, 2006

boys

[L2] Visuals

What a riot..XD
Anyone know who the author of these comics is? I saw some others he's done and they're all pretty good :X
Korean L2 Comic: Guys who play girl charsCollapse )

Being the dutiful little L2 player that I am (blah) I went and ran my own L2 server in order to playtest my chosen class on it. The clan that invited me to the new 1x/2x server, Fallen Angels (mostly old hands in L2), are oh-so-meticulous in planning out their classes and clan economy on our boards that I feel a little noobish reading it all, so I thought I would give a Phantom Summoner a shot before taking the leap. Also, I'd been planning to make a little movie or comic, and it seemed the best way to get the visuals I needed.
My buffbot prophet in S gradeAnother shot. Bikini robes o.OThe background here just happened to be pretty enough to cap :)
SoulbowBasic summoner setupFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usMy buffbot trying to look cute after I&apos;d maximised my window and found it had autofollowed me a bit too closely.Athren as his original concept, an Abyss Walker...only with cubics :P
I got a little carried away playing with the server and took a few character-reference screenshots in which the colours came out beautifully. Nothing among the light armours and robes, not even S-grade, seems to look good on a DE male, except possibly for Doom Light, which is masculine enough to be taken seriously. You get to wondering what the Korean designers were on when they did the leathers and robes. x.x

The shots of my prophet in DC and Arcana were enough to get me to consider playing my sorc again. DC is hot, but the shots of my friend's male mage in Arcana on the PTS actually out-gheys DE clothes for once. x.x

Feb. 15th, 2006

boys

Valentine's+Abstract gfx+Wacky Japanese Ice Cream.

Using 3d renders feels like cheating to me, it's so easy to make abstract backgrounds for websites or wallpaper >.> But since I hadn't made anything in PS in a while I thought it was time for a bit of practise. Corner of the sheet I'm doing and a closeup of the 2d pixel detail - the 2d layers I'm not quite done with yet.


I don't know what I'll be using this for yet.
-----
Guys...when you send roses to your girl make sure to ASK the shop to have them cut off -all- their thorns, please >.> Though I can't say I like flowers (I'm the nonsentimental sort) those long-stemmed roses would have been nicer if I'd not pricked a finger trying to get them into a vase x.x

Here's to Belgian chocolate and not footing the bill :P
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And, a wonderful addition courtesy of wtf_inc
http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/photospecials/graph/040701ice/1.html
Whale Ice Cream, anyone? I'm particularly fond of the Dorakyura Aisu (garlic ice cream) and Kuro Biiru Aisu (Stout/Black Beer Ice cream) myself.
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Feb. 10th, 2006

boys

Blizzard Gets Gay Rights Warning

From Fandom Wank: WoW is issued a warning by a legal group after informing a guildleader that advertising her guild as gay-friendly violated their TOS.

http://www.jluster.org/2006/02/04/blizzard-yells-wtb-common-sense-pst-plz/
http://www.kotaku.com/gaming/breaking/wow-blizzard-gets-gay-rights-warning-153075.php

"..."

Feb. 9th, 2006

caliah

[L2] Changes


The new alliance and clan crest I made, and my favourite title :)

Although I've been on hiatus for only about a week a lot has changed in L2P. The factions have re-realigned themselves again and it looks like IFC has left Parabellum to form their own alliance. They've also been working with Hellnation against Flowerboys (hell the whole server is against FB) while Underworld have been (quietly and gleefully) observing things from a third corner.

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This ss, though one of my favourites, failed to capture the carnage at Aden on an ordinary day and is something of a rebuttal to HN's claims of skill in general (80% of the times they win they bring 3x our number). As usual, here, they had the number and level advantage. FB did a better job in our match against them in front of LOA.

We also haven't been attacked at all after I clarified our neutrality to FB, which makes for more peaceful parties overall. >.> Though that being said of Yakuza is like saying it'll snow in the middle of summer. After a skirmish in FG in which I let loose at ImmortalHeroes as soon as FB had left and didn't attack the SOE-ing enemy (dirty fighting!) like some Parabellum did, from a brief conversation with an IMERC, it seems now they know that some Underworld people have honour. And now they know how being on the non-zerg side feels >.>

IH also left us alone in Saints Necropolis when they came upon us recently, even if their party outnumbered ours. That orc I pked was with them. I wonder if he was happy to see me XD

Nightmare joined Relax, which I wish I'd done (and still do). They're the one remaining clan in the server I'd always fought alongside in the old days and still did when the new alliances took the place of the old, though they were terrible pvpers back then even in their own words :P Experience counts for a lot though, and they've gained a lot of that in the past few months. They can be counted on to cover your back and not commit stupid mistakes when your party finds itself in mass pvp.

That said, it seems Goodaytodie and the former Dragonslayers are going to join the 2nd clan I'm leading...since most of them are 7x I guess that means Absinthe will have some company at last :)
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