[Screenshots] SWTOR – The Nathema Conspiracy

Today we got a new story flashpoint, as well as three returning companions. Unfortunately none are really ones that I cared about, but I did the quests on my Consular and Bounty Hunter.

Screenshots ahoy ~

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[Screenshots] SWTOR – Ashara + Arcann

Vector also returned in this patch, but my Agent isn’t able to get him yet so I’ll try to get her through her chapters later. Still busy trying to get sewing projects going though!

More importantly though, Malavar’s long-lost girlfriend is back! I love that it kept her customization too, so she looks right in this scene.


And Arcann finally became available as a romance. Zamarra is always willing to see the good in people, so she’s a good choice for him. (Until Zenith comes back, I guess.)

[Screenshots] BfA Alpha Screenshots

Behind a cut for spoilers. (Though really, I don’t think there’s anything spoilery in here.)

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[Story/Screenshots] Character of the Week – Risarra Highbough

[[ Risarra is a Sentinel in Ashenvale forest. ]]

Risarra crouched back on her heels as she watched Frostwing approach the fish. Bear had brought them back earlier that evening, and suggested that the hippogryph might be interested in it. Surely they didn’t eat fish often in Winterspring — any fish would have been safely under a layer of ice. But they were plentiful here, the bears ate them for every meal. The hippogryph was the most breath-taking thing that Risarra had ever seen, graceful and delicate yet at the same time powerful and ferocious. Her feathers were soft, and a thousand shades of blue, like shadows on the snow. The ones near her head were the smallest, and sometimes Risarra would find one of them in the grass and marvel at its perfection. Around her neck they grew long and fluffy, her wing feathers straight and strong.

Frostwing cocked her head and turned over the fish with her clawed foot, lowering her beak to inspect it. With a soft click, the grey beak closed down on the fish and then released it again. She was testing it, Risarra realized. “It’s okay,” she whispered to Frostwing. “It’s food.” This time, the fish disappeared down the hippogryph’s throat in a single gulp, and she fluffed up her feathers as she looked to Risarra.

“You want another one?” she asked, and Frostwing uttered a trilling chirp.

Risarra rose and walked back to the camp, where Bear was busy making a new table for the house. It was warm enough that he could work outside, and he was taking advantage of the opportunity before it started to rain. Frostwing followed behind her as she went to the drying rack and took another fish. The hippogryph gobbled it down quickly, so she took one more. She supposed that Frostwind needed it, they’d been busy training with the saddle and harness so Risarra could ride. Hopefully there would be enough fish left for the bears. Frostwing’s appetite seemed sated, and she settled down on the ground near the cabin, her legs folded neatly underneath her.

They’d only been together a short time, but Risarra already felt an overwhelming sense of pride and love when she looked at Frostwing. It was something she hadn’t felt since her saber, Magnolia, had died some years ago. She loved Bear, of course, but that was entirely different, and it had taken much longer. There was a great deal of doubt and uncertainty, because elves were much more complicated than animals. Frostwing looked to her as a friend and partner, protector and comrade, after only a few weeks. There was a purity and an innocence to her feelings, but they were just as strong as any elf’s. Risarra rested a hand on Frostwing’s side, and the hippogryph gently nibbled at it with her beak. She could have been looking for more fish, but Risarra preferred to believe that she was grooming her, the way she would another hippogryph that she was friendly with.

Risarra smiled and leaned against Frostwing’s soft, warm side to watch Bear work.

[Story/Screenshots] Character of the Week – Raleth Surana

[[ This is the Raleth that exists in the Dragon Age games. He is my canon Warden, an elf Mage. I lost a lot of my old screenshots when my old hard drive failed, but here’s one I snagged from another post! ]]

The new kid certainly didn’t look like a mage. He was impossibly thin and pointy, his eyes sunken and dark, dirt smudged on his face and shirt. Nevertheless, Raleth sat across from him at the table with his food tray.

“What do you want?” the kid snarled, but Raleth could see the tracks that tears had left in the dirt on his cheeks.

“I just thought you might want a friend,” shrugged Raleth. “It’s kind of weird at first, but I can show you around. My name’s Raleth.”

The kid’s dark eyes narrowed. “Why?”

“Just–” Raleth paused. “I know what it’s like. Feeling different from everyone. Being scared.”

He wiped his nose on his sleeve roughly. “I’m not scared. And what do you know? You look like you’re some noble’s pet.”

Raleth glanced down at his apprentice robes, the same ones that every student wore, that the new kid would receive probably right after the meal. “They give these to us,” he explained.

“Oh,” said the boy, lowering his gaze. “I’m sorry. I’m Farrin.”

Raleth didn’t blame him for his mistrust, it was bred into you in the alienage. Farrin was old enough to have seen what life is like, and to be suspicious of strangers — even elven strangers. He himself had been much younger when he’d been taken, and hadn’t yet seen the things Farrin had — or his mother. She’d cried when they came to take him, but they were tears of joy. “You’re going to have a good life now, Raleth,” she’d told him. “You’ll have food and a warm bed and never go hungry.” He’d been a little afraid to leave her behind, but how could he possibly disappoint her? He’d tried sending letters to tell her how he was doing, but his mother couldn’t read and he’d never received a reply. But she hadn’t been wrong — the Circle was safe, and he was well cared for. A cage it might be, but at least it was a pleasant one.

“Have you been here a long time?” Farrin asked, after he’d wolfed down his tray of food. He was eyeing Raleth’s roll, so he gave it to him.

“I was seven or so, I think. So yes.”

Farrin blinked. “That young?”

Raleth nodded. “It’s rare for someone to be brought so old, actually. Usually they’ve gone on the run already.”

Farrin frowned and tore the roll apart, chewing one half of it. “Maybe I should have.”

“No — you don’t want that. It’s safe here. The instructors will show you how to do everything properly and safely. And it’s kind of nice having others to talk to. I kind of felt like — I don’t know,” Raleth sighed. “An animal on display.”

“How do you stand all the humans, though?” Farrin’s dark eyes darted toward the other table, where several of them sat together.

“It’s not a big deal here,” Raleth said. “I mean, not really. Not like it is out there. As long as you can keep up with classes, they don’t really care if you’re an elf.”

Farrin watched them doubtfully. “Really?”

“Really. And,” Raleth added. “Some of them aren’t that bad.”

“Don’t you ever miss it though?” Farrin asked.

“The alienage?”

Farrin scowled and shook his head. “The rest of the world.”

How could he miss something he had never known? But yes, it was true that he sat near the windows in the library sometimes, looking out over the lake and imagining what lay beyond. He’d seen paintings in books of faraway lands and exotic animals and fancy costumes, but that’s all they were to him — just fantasy. They were forbidden to leave, trapped here within the Tower unless the Chantry decreed otherwise, so there was no point in fighting it. Raleth had been at the Circle long enough to see what happened to those who tried.

“Maybe a little. But I think it’s worth it to learn to be a mage, don’t you?”

Farrin didn’t have an answer to that.

[Story/Screenshot] Character of the Week – Tathariel Evershade

[[ Tathariel was born on January 30, 2006. She was my very first WoW character, though she was initially a Tauren and became Ornasse’s daughter when she was race-changed. This is actually a “fake” Tathariel, one on another server, as the account with her has been unsubscribed for 18 months. So it’s weird to be looking at what’s probably the end of my WoW journey soon when writing about her.

I have no plans to buy the expansion at this time, I won’t say never because they could always add something that I can’t resist. But slightly-recolored existing race skins just aren’t enough to convince me to buy a third expansion in a row that I don’t like. They are doubling down on things I actively dislike — forced faction conflict, artifact grind, mythic+, and I just really dislike the way the lore and game in general are going. Some of my formerly favorite classes are awful to me now, and they have no plans to reverse the class changes made in Legion. I had planned to just run old raids — but then they squished stats so they’re much more difficult now. I’m not sure how much longer I can justify paying every month just to RP. It’s not really about the money, it’s about paying for a game I don’t enjoy anymore. It also stinks that I’ll be stuck in Legion for the foreseeable future, the expansion that killed my love for the game. I do love my characters though, and writing about them, so I don’t know. ]]

tathariel

Tathariel shivered as she stepped through the deathgate, she could feel the clammy grasp of the air there, even through the portal. A damp and unpleasant smell hung in the air, and dozens of bright blue eyes turned to regard her curiously. She’d been to Acherus once before, but it had been a long time ago. It didn’t seem any less unsettling now, and she was thankful that Jaellynn had worn his armor after all. At first she’d argued against it, worried that the sin’dorei rangers would be afraid of him, or worse, attack him. He ushered her to the balcony, where several of those strange skeletal gryphons waited with empty eyes.

She’d imagined the forests to be bright and colorful, ablaze with red and gold — and they were, until they flew further south, over the black scar that marred the earth. There all the life and color seemed to drain from the land, a dreary grey expanse that stretched as far as Tathariel could see. How could anyone live here? She shivered, holding onto the leather saddle more tightly. Orledin had told Jaellynn where to find the rangers, along the main road to the south. She saw other estates lying below, most of them in disrepair, as hopeless as the forest around them. But a few appeared to have been rebuilt, and some even had people living in them. Tathariel saw what had to be the school, a sprawling old building surrounded by smaller outbuildings, all beneath a shimmering dome. Orledin had said that a kaldorei lived there, but Tathariel couldn’t imagine how she could tolerate the gloom.

The bone gryphon landed with a clatter of bones and shook itself as they dismounted. Jaellynn approached the building first, his hand on his runeblade. He paused in front of an undead that seemed to have been forgotten out here, dressed in dirty and torn clothing. Though he tried to speak with him, the undead made no reply. Perhaps he didn’t speak common, though as a former human he ought to understand it. Orledin, who had emerged from the building by then, explained that the undead wouldn’t be saying much of anything. Tathariel felt anxious about going inside — the entire trip here, Jaellynn kept reminding her that it could be a trap. And she’d left Relanos with their neighbor on the chance that it was. The possibility seemed remote, but it was still there. Orledin told her to wait outside near the practice targets, and he’d send Leinath out. They were made of leather and stuffed with hay, lined up so the rangers could improve their aim. She’d never been a sentinel, but surely they had something similar.

He was short, as all sin’dorei were, his long reddish hair tied back. And he seemed frightened, as if he might startle and bolt at any moment. He wasn’t armed, at least that she could see. Jaellynn lurked nearby, just in case.

“Hello,” Tathariel said, doing her best not to seem scary. “I’m Tathariel, I think Orledin mentioned me?”

Leinath nodded silently. He was watching Jaellynn.

“That’s Jaellynn, he’s a death knight.” She figured that was probably obvious, considering his appearance.

“And you two are–?”

Tathariel nodded. She told him about how they’d met and how she’d been his friend at first, but then she realized it was something more than that. She told him about Relanos and how they’d chosen him from the orphanage. Leinath asked a few questions, but not many. It seemed he was still trying to take everything in.

“Can I write to you if I think of anything else?” he asked.

“Yes, of course. And we’ll be at the ball too — if it’s allowed.”

Leinath smiled, just a little. It was a nice smile, she could see why Orledin was trying so hard to win him over. “That’s not up to me, unfortunately. But there’s another kaldorei there. And a draenei.”

Tathariel nodded, she remembered that Orledin had mentioned that. She still needed to write a letter to the kaldorei teacher, just to calm her own fears. But if the rangers were safe, no doubt the mages were as well. “I’ll see you then,” she said.

[OOC/Screenshots] The Walking Dead: A New Frontier

wd_Growup

Javier explains puberty to Clementine.

I was able to finish this today, and a lot of my thoughts are spoilery, so I’ll put them behind a cut.

I had a lot of issues with the controls, as I mentioned in my other post — the WASD keys do not work as arrows in this one. But once I figured that out, I was ready with my fingers near the arrow keys. Also, I managed to solve my floating mouse issue by lowering the graphics, which is why my screenshots look so terrible, haha. But hey, on the plus side, lower graphics does make it look more like a comic book!

The main character of ANF is Javier, and the story focuses on him and his family. The story is much more about the struggles within it than it is about the external threat of the zombies. While I don’t think this is inherently a bad idea — it would be too repetitive if all the games had similar stories — I’m not sure it makes for as good of a game. I never felt that pressing sense of danger and hopelessness that I did in the other two. I started the last part of Season One with so much dread — I never felt anything close to that here.

I also really had difficulty caring about two of the main characters. While I had some investment in Javier, all I really cared about seeing was Clementine and whether she’d accomplish her goal.

Spoilery stuff after the cut:

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