Archive for Star Wars

What news is important to you? SEALs and Osama or Star Wars and JJ Abrams?

Posted in Movies and Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2014 by urbannight

Today there are some interesting news articles and I find it more interesting to notice which ones I am drawn to.

For instance, the official title for the new Star Wars movie has been released and the person who actually shot Osama has been identified.  I find that I really don’t care about knowing the specific SEAL who shot Osama.  It isn’t really relevant to my world.

He was a National problem and a representative of our Military got rid of the problem.  While I sometimes consider if what we do as a nation on an international scale is right or wrong I believe that this person attacked this nation and we resolved the situation.  Some of the things around that resolution might not be to my liking, but I believe that we had a right to retaliate in this.

So it is over and done with and life goes on.  Know the official title of Star Wars is actually more important to me.

Star Wars did more to shape who I am personally, starting from when I was a young child, and so I feel somewhat invested in the stories.  As a child, I didn’t play house or school or things like that when I played with Barbies and other dolls.  The kids in my neighborhood played together, boys and girls.  The girls brought our Barbies and the boys their G.I Joes and we played space battles, pirate ships, jungle explorers, and such.

Playing space based stories was the norm and this was pretty much because of Star Wars.  This is who I am.  Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  I’m eager to see the discussions this starts and the ideas people have as to what this means.  I need to think about it more myself.  Decide what I think it might mean.

Star Wars

Some people might think that I’m investing too much importance to fictional stories, but the reality is this is Mythos.  I may not be overly fond of Joseph Campbell, but he was right when he realized it was a modern way to deal with, relate to, and understand the larger concepts that humanity has been trying to shape and understand through the mythologies and religions, and even fairy tales, that have been produced throughout human history.

We have passed it to a second generation and are moving Star Wars onto a third generation of young children.  Star Wars has become more that just a movie that no one thought would succeed.

The Good, The Bad, The Proteus Guild

Posted in Entertainment, Gaming, Life, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2013 by urbannight

Before the server move, I was on a fairly small server. I wasn’t sure about the move but decided it was better to do if voluntary than wait until the end when the moved all the people who didn’t want to. There were always so few people on the planets. The most chatty was someone with a toon named Freya. I always wondered what happened to her. Her comments made it should like she was a her. I could be wrong. Some guys really get into playing female toons. At that time, if your name was already used on the server you were being moved to, you were the one forced to change yours. I was lucky and I didn’t have to.

The night I made the move, I got logged into the new server and there were sure a lot of people. I was on the pub fleet taking care of what I call house keeping. I go through all my stuff, see if I have anything new I can put on my companions, cycling through them all. Then sorting what I needed to save and what I could sell on the GTN, turning on RE to see which things I couldn’t auction that I could RE, and then finding a vendor to sell the rest of the stuff.

Skull face idea 3

How I feel as I write this.

This could take a while. I suddenly got this tell asking if I wanted to join a guild. Sure! I said. It was from Doc.

I was really quiet for a month or so. I have been playing MUD’s, MOG’s and MMO’s since the early 90’s. I’ve seen good guilds and bad guilds and relaxed guilds and fanatical guilds.

I loved Proteus. It was the best guild I had ever seen and I was amazed at how many years it had existed and how many games it crossed over. I had never seen anyone accomplish such a thing before.

I alternated my time between all my toons until I slowly stopped playing the lowest level ones and focused on my pub main and imp main. Once I hit 50 on my pub toon, I pretty much focused on her (Lindrossa) after that. I would pop on and do a mission on the imp side once a week. I would pop on to a couple of my alts and do a mission or two once a week. I was trying to level a healer and a tank, even though I’m not really fond of tanking. I figured I should learn it enough for an emergency back up, just in case.

So in those days, people would see me chatting for a few weeks and then I would be on imp a few weeks and come back and see a lot of different people chatting. But there was a significant core group that was always there, always chatty, and pretty darn nice.

And once I started playing Lindrossa nearly exclusively, people started to get more familiar with me. One day, when discussing PVP and Flashpoints, it came out that I had never actually done a flashpoint. So people volunteered to do the first FP mission we get with my new healer. After that, I switched to my main and people took me through an FP on her.

The Smuggler Class is my favorite class.  Lindrossa is a Smuggler  Gunslinger.  I got a real kick out of the idea that I could make an Orion Slave Girl in the Star Wars universe.  I know that isn't the race name, but thats sure what they look like to me.  Too much Trek as a kid????

Photo not up to date. Not my current gear.

I had avoided most PVP and FP because I never found them to be any fun in all the other games I ever played. Most of them were super fanatical and expected people to be totally geared the instant they hit the level they could start doing the pvp or raiding.

With SWTOR, I discovered that I really liked PVP. And with Proteus people, I found FP’s to be extremely fun. I was having a blast and I was told I was doing pretty darn good for not having run any of the FP’s we were running and being totally under geared. So they invited me along on various runs to help me start to get geared up.

I must have been doing okay because after a few weeks, I was recruited to a set raid group by a person who liked to find out about people before inviting them on a run. Mostly, has anyone run with them, what do they know of them, how do they do? My raid leader was a great person, really helpful, didn’t hold it against me that I hadn’t run a lot of the FP’s and raids before, helps me get geared up. Many people in my team were really helpful with pointing me in the right directions to find information on how to get the most out of my class when doing PVE.

We would raid twice a week and do random ones other nights. They didn’t mind that I like to do both PVE and PVP. I carried around both sets of gear so I could switch without having to find a cargo access. Sometimes, when people were doing random FP’s, they would throw me an invite. So I would sometimes still do runs with other people.

The guild meeting were surprisingly entertaining. Doc sounded like such a great guy and every meeting he talked about his ideals and purpose for Proteus. Sort of like a mission statement.

But then a few people were rubbing the wrong way, doing and saying things in general chat that were starting to give a bad impression for Proteus. Sometimes it was a bit embarrassing. And since some of them were high up in the leadership levels.

It finally came to a head and people who were not involved with the public drama but where trying to find solutions finally decided to leave. After all, allowing some of the really high up people to whatever they want that was contrary to Doc’s mission statements seemed like a sign of favoritism and selective application of some very basic and simple rules.

After this happens, Doc posted a list on the guild website that was terribly insulting and sounded like a drunk person wrote it. I even thought it was a bad prank. That he hadn’t written it but someone else did. But no, I later found out that he had even had people review it first. It was a list of people he wanted as officers and why. Not only did the letter sound drunk, was rude, but it was also insulting to half the people he said he actually wanted.

After that, I was very uncomfortable and concerned. Every day, people who were very active and were driving forces behind Proteus were leaving or being kicked. The letter caused several people who were mentioned as being wanted to leave. Like I said, it was highly insulting. Half my raid group left and some of the really active people stopped talking in guild chat. Vent got a lot quieter too. People were afraid to say anything just in case they were kicked for something they didn’t realize they said wrong.

It got to the point that every time I logged in, I pulled up the guild roster, changed it to show off-line members as well, and checked for certain people, to see if they were still there. There were no more random invites for runs and I spent most of my time doing PVP, getting more elite PVP gear, and doing some Gree missions.

Lilith and the Serpent.

Lilith and the Serpent.

And then somethings happened Monday. Someone who really was instrumental in getting raid groups going and helping me out personally was kicked. Just for being friends with someone else who was kicked. So now you had to be friends with the ‘right’ people and if you happened to be friends with anyone the powers that be want to kick then you too will be kicked.

I was upset about this but I was asked not to do anything. So I went to play on an alt that wasn’t in Proteus. One I almost never played. I saw two Proteus members get added to the guild she was in. Names I knew. Names of really active people.

I logged back into Lindrossa and checked the guild roster for certain names. Nearly every single one of them was gone. These were sudden kicks of people on Doc’s list of people he wanted to keep. Some for no reason they were ever told.

In the end, my impression is that a couple of people who were friends of the leadership, who had been on less often lately, came back to find a whole crop of really active people at the helm of Proteus. After all, Doc isn’t on much, Kitty is on more often but she isn’t on all the time either. So the people they assigned to look after things were doing so with a lot of input of the people who were really getting the guild active in end game content, raiding and having fun and keeping the game fresh, helping the lower level people, and really helping new 50’s get into the swing of ‘what to do next’. As a quiet person, who mostly observes, but would run with some of these really active people, and listen to them in vent, my impression is that these other people, who were spending more time on other servers or where otherwise occupied, suddenly came back and wanted THEIR guild back and THEIR power back and for people to look to THEM again.

Nearly all the really active people have been kicked or left before they got kicked. The people running raid groups. The people trying to get PVP groups off the ground. The people actively running datacron or pet/egg safari’s. They are all go. I log in and the chat is filled mostly with people I’ve never heard of before and don’t know anything about. I see trash talk about the people who left from people who don’t know what they are talking about. The people who left were the ones really working their asses off for Proteus. They weren’t out for power or glory or manipulating behind people’s backs. They did it for the love of the game and the love of what HAD been the best guild ever.

After finding out people were getting removed from the guild because they were friends with the wrong people, I realized that Proteus had turned into a guild I no longer wanted to be a part of anymore. There was nothing left of all the good things and everything that happened was completely contrary to all the things that Doc said at each and every guild meeting.

So Monday night I left the guild. It was sad to do so, especially such a long-lived and wide-spread guild as Proteus. It’s a phenomenon that I’ve never seen and may never see again. But it isn’t worth staying if you have to worry that you are going to get kicked because you are friends with, and still run raids with, the people who have left or were kicked.

SWTOR Rebublic Side

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , on November 2, 2012 by urbannight

The Smuggler Class is my favorite class. Lindrossa is a Smuggler Gunslinger. She is lvl 50 now. Voss is a nice planet. I’m just cleaning out the bonus quests 2 line. I got a real kick out of the idea that I could make an Orion Slave Girl in the Star Wars universe. I know that isn’t the race name, but hats sure what they look like to me. Too much Trek as a kid????

Kiya’amun’s race should be obvious to any fan of the movies. She is a lvl 26 Jedi Sentinel. I really don’t get the hang of these up close and personal fighters. I keep targeting the next enemy and expecting her to run over to it. That isn’t happening. But I’m loving the shooters. She is on Tatooine right now. I rather hate that planet.

Zotletta is of a strange race that has no eyes and sees with the force. This is not the strange part. The fact they seem to have eye sockets in their skulls is what is strange. She is a level 19 Jedi Shadow, which is a consular for those who don’t know. She is on Taris which wouldn’t be so bad if it were not for the ugly monsters that used to be humans.

Dorella is a Trooper. A Vanguard. She is level 12 and on Coruscant. I ran too many through Coruscant too close together and got really sick of the planet. She is kind of fun and her first companion is of a cat race that reminds me of some books I read back in Jr High and High School. Only instead of having a nice long mane of hair he has shaved himself in an all over crew cut.

A Little Bit of Gaming History.

Posted in Entertainment, Gaming with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 16, 2012 by urbannight

What happens when Exhaustion, Heat, and Gaming Grumpiness collide?

You find something old to play.

I played some Guild Wars this weekend because it was Winter’s Day in July. I also played some SWTOR this weekend. But both were kind of boring me. I was sleepy, cranky, uncomfortable, and channeling the outside heat. My AC was working itself to death attempting to drop the temperature from 76 degrees to 72 degrees inside. The external heat was so overwhelming that it was overwhelming my AC.

I realized that I was tired of running around killing things. Zeus: Master of Olympus was sitting there. City Building sounded more fun. City building with objectives and not just random city building like Sims City Social, or whatever it is called, the name escapes me right now.

As the names Impressions Games and Sierra Entertainment play by, I realize how much I miss Sierra and Impression games. I liked an awful lot of their games. I have Pharaoh and Cleopatra. I think I have one of the Caesar games as well. I never got the expansion for it, Poseidon: Master of Atlantis. I don’t actually remember seeing that anywhere.

I think that Pharaoh seemed a little more flexible and easier to control various administrative details. If you were short workers, you could allocate focus. Zeus tells me I can if I’m looking at the staffing for a particular building, but when I try to find the interface that lets me do so, I can’t find any way to control or change it. All I seem to control is wage and tax rates.

On the other hand, I like the ease of the military screen for Zeus better. There is also an interesting cheat code that allows you to go in and tell the tower archers to shoot cows instead of arrows. Some of the wandering citizenry have names such as Brad Pitt, Denzel Washington, Hugh Hefner. I’ve not clicked on those citizens so have yet to find them.

I am struggling with the current mission. I had two of the 4 objectives already completed when the mission started. I had to wait for the monster to show up before I summon the hero. Of course, I had all the supplies and didn’t have to wait on that, but it also took a while for the hero to actually how up, find the monster, and kill her.

This left me with one objective that is proving hard to meet. I have to have 11 trade partners and I have all 11 routes and piers/posts built. But two of them are not trading ATM. One is the one that lost contact w/ the world after the Maenads are first discovered. I thought that by defeating and killing the Maenad would cause them to open up again. Nope. And I don’t know why the other one isn’t trading. That city is on good terms with me. So I’m a bit bored just letting the city run until they change their minds. There doesn’t seem to be anything I can do to get them actively trading again. I searched. I can send gifts to the second city but I can’t interact at all with the first city.

It loses some of its value as a gaming alternative, for when I’m not in the mood for online games, if I can do nothing but sit and watch it run and wait for those cities to resume trading.

Impression Games I’ve Played:

Zeus, Master of Olympus,
Pharaoh,
Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile,
Caesar, but not sure which installment,
Lords of Magic, (which I didn’t really like very much)

Sierra Entertainment:

I liked Sierra a lot, in part, because one of the founders was Roberta Williams. The industry has very few women in it and very few successful women. She was a big name even in the early days of computer gaming. The name, Sierra, also speaks to the very beginning of pc gaming and gaming systems as it was started in 1979.

I had all eight of the King’s Quest games and both Shiver’s games. I think I also played Leisure Suit Larry. There were a few games that were advertised inside the games I got that I wanted but never saw in the shops. Space Quest, Phantasmagoria, and Homeworld might have been some I wanted.

It is now defunct, 2008. Through a series of sales over time, it ended up under Activision Blizzard. The same Blizzard we know and love for WoW and various types of ___’Craft games, Diablo, and other stuff. In fact, a list of dist of defunct gaming companies that were purchases and closed by Blizzard makes for an interesting read. 7 Studios, Activision, Bizarre Creations (Raising Hell Productions), RedOctane, Shaba Games, Sierra Entertainment, Underground Development, and Vivendi games.

I know many people who are much more into hard core gaming than I am. They think I’m a bit of a poser calling myself a gamer girl if I refuse to spend an entire month finding the solution to a puzzle by going through each and every variable or spending all my play time over the course of a week trying to get one datacron.

I, on the other hand, see the people who don’t know what a MUD is and who have no idea who these landmark gaming companies are and look confused when you tell them your first computer/game platform was a Vic 20 as the posers. I guess it is all a difference of perception and what you value.

I value fun and land mark games and systems. I don’t have a blind devotion to solving all puzzles myself and once the puzzle becomes a source of agrivation and frustration, I will see if someone has posted the solution. I am also devoted to the PC as platform and don’t want to buy other expensive game boxes when I have a perfectly good PC to run it on. Now it is hard to find games made for pc and other platforms. I remember when that was the NORM!

Other people value the skills and won’t accept anything short of solving it themselves. I have also noticed that these people are more likely to have multiple game systems and are always looking for the newest, latest, greatest of toys.

Sure, it is an over generalization, but one with a certain amount of truth to it.

Rancor Spoof

Posted in Entertainment, Movies and Theatre with tags , , , on July 12, 2012 by urbannight

How much is that rancor in the window? (GRR! GRR!)
The one with the waggley tail
How much is that rancor in the window? (GRR! GRR!)
I do hope that rancor’s for sale

I must take a trip to California
And leave my poor sweetheart alone
If he has a rancor, he won’t be lonesome
And the rancor will have a good home

How much is that rancor in the window? (GRR! GRR!)
The one with the waggley tail
How much is that rancor in the window? (GRR! GRR!)
I do hope that rancor’s for sale

I read in the paper there are robbers (GRR! GRR!)
With flashlights that shine in the dark
My love needs a rancor to protect him
And scare them away with one growl

I don’t want a bunny or a kitty
I don’t want a parrot that talks
I don’t want a bowl of little fishies
He can’t take a goldfish for a walk

How much is that rancor in the window? (GRR! GRR!)
The one with the waggley tail
How much is that rancor in the window? (GRR! GRR!)
I do hope that rancor’s for sale
I do hope that rancor’s for sale

10 Things Star Wars Taught Us About Dating

Posted in Entertainment, Movies and Theatre with tags , on July 6, 2012 by urbannight

This is a reprinting of an article I found this morning.  Not mine.

10 Things Star Wars Taught Us About Dating
There are worse things than kissing a wookie…
By Chiara Atik for HowAboutWe

1. Check your lineage. Make sure you’re not siblings.

2. When it comes to going in for the kiss: it’s do or do not, there is no try.

3. If your girlfriend says “I love you,” and you simply respond with a smug “I know,” then you honestly deserve to be frozen in carbonite.

4. Annoying nicknames, like “Princess” and “Little Champy,” are a completely viable and effective way to flirt.

5. Have a bad feeling about this (date/relationship/drunken inclination to hook up with someone)? Then it’s probably not a good idea.

6. Be like Han Solo: promise her you won’t shoot first. (Get it?!)

7. How you can tell a first date is going well: “Wonderful girl. Either I’m going to kill you or I’m beginning to like you.”

8. Always choose a good wingman to help you steer clear of danger, avoid getting shot down, and generally make sure you’re striking back, not out.

9. No one, not even a princess, is out of your league if you’re cocky enough.

10. You can tell whether a person is within your dating age range based on whether or not they like ewoks.
[Crowd-sourced entirely from the world’s cleverest and most ardent Star Wars fans.]

A Question of Regenerations

Posted in Entertainment, Movies and Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2012 by urbannight

The Great Peter Cushing

My roommate and I ended up having a discussion on how many time the Doctor could regenerate, so I felt the need to do a little research.  I thought, that when I was young and watching it on PBS, one of the early doctors had said they could only regenerate 7 times.  For that to work, a normal, single body, life span would have to be much longer than a human’s.  This was a rather old episode and they were still filming new episodes of the old series back then.  It may have been one that was taped over and lost forever.

Somewhere, the old writers must have realized they could possibly run through 7 actors and extended the number 12.  That means with his first life, before his first generation, he would have a total of 13 bodies.  We are on 11.  So we can have 2 more faces.  Anything you can search out online indicates the 12 and/or 13 number.  If there are 13 regenerations, then there are 14 ‘lives’.  Perhaps the 7 number is one that my memory made up from a dream.

There have been hints that Time Lords could circumvent this limit by various means as the Master had done so.  On a couple of occasions, non-Time Lords have regenerated with less than idea results and through a variety of methods. 

During an episode of Sarah Jane Adventures, or maybe an interview regarding the show, the Doctor indicates that he can now regenerate 507 times, which may have been just a way to say that either do to the end of the rest of the race, or as a consequence of the Time Wars, he may now have an unlimited number of regenerations.

Now if you simply try to count faces, there are FAR more faces than current regenerations can account for.  Two separate actors have filled in for the first doctor. Once due to an injury and another time due to the fact that the first actor was already deceased and they needed someone to do the part.  But the intent in those cases was for the other actor to actually be the first doctor and not a different regeneration.

Other actors have performed the part on stage and the intent was for them to actually portray an existing regeneration.  So we can discount those as well.

Radio programs were sometime recorded with the correct actors and often with other voice actors playing the part of a known regeneration.

Other actors occasionally play a role where people are interacting with someone they think is a third-party but it turns out to have been the doctor. 

Then we get into the weird world of televised shows where people play ‘alternative’ doctors.  These do not show up in any of the series groupings and may have been stand alone series/shows.  American readers will recognize the names Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Grant, and Joanna Lumley.  But this is actually a long list of people, 17 people total if you go by the Wikipedia article.

I am going to completely exclude people who were deluded and thought they were the doctor and con-artists pretending to be the Doctor.

This brings us to one VERY big name who remains unaccounted for.  Two films were done, cinema films, in 1965 and 1966.  The Doctor is not identified as being any particular regeneration.  Nor is this counted a his own regeneration, as the Eighth Doctor was in one televised movie in a failed attempt to reboot the series in 1996.  No.  This unaccounted for Doctor is played by none other than Peter Cushing, well-known for his many Hammer Films, often playing opposite Christopher Lee and Vincent Price.  He is also well-known for playing Sherlock Holmes and Star Wars fanatics will know him as Grand Moff Tarkin.  A fun, fan, factoid is that he was even considered for the part of Obi-Wan.

I have not seen those movies.  I think I would give my eye teeth in order to see them. 

And to think I looked up all this info because of a random comment by my roommate asking if the Doctor hadn’t already gone past his allotment of regeneration.

Sources are IMDB, many random articles and sites, and then a fairly huge set of charts on Wikipedia.