Lounge L33ts Episode 7: Home for the Holidays

We spread some holiday cheer from the Home for the Holidays dimension in Rift (Faeblight server). Joining us is our friend Bob to explain why he's chosen Rift to fill the base building hole in his heart that City of Heroes left behind.


Master of Imperious Task Force

Something a little more upbeat than the previous video! The Legendary super group and I run through the Imperious Task Force on City of Heroes. We were going for the "Master of the Imperious Task Force" badge, went meant we couldn't use any of our temporary powers. Also, we lost our chance at the badge if anyone in the group died.


Lounge L33ts Presents: City of Heroes, The Final Hours

Randy, Matt, and I are there for the end, as bumpy as it was. I've taken care to remove most of the recordings where we're shunted off to the queue after Virtue crashed the first few times. Eventually, we wound up finishing off in Freedom with new toons. It certainly felt like we had gone back to our beginings on Freedom, before the migration to Virtue after Architect Entertainment was introduced. This was hard for everyone involved. For me, it was my first ever venture into MMO's and my first step into a 3-D explorable world. For Randy and Matt, I suspect it was a way to express their creativity and imagination. This game will be sorely missed. A big thank to The Legendary super group! They lived up to their name. The Lounge L33ts will keep going on CO, LOTRO, AO, TSW, and Rift, if you ever want to give us a shout out.

Lounge L33ts Episode 6: The Loft

We eventually get around to talking about our experiences so far with the super hero MMO Champions Online. But first, so more geeking out over Anarchy Online!


Lounge L33ts Episode 5: The Horned God

     I've been playing The Secret World off and on since it officially opened up, and so far it's been a lot of fun. It has it's faults, though. Every time my friend Barry comes over, I have a brief moment of fear that he'll ask to play the game with me. Lately he's been picking Star Wars: The Old Republic, which I don't currently have installed and have informed him of this fact last three times he's been over.
     I'll get to SWTOR again in the future. Right now my plate is already piled high with my friends' latest surge into LOTRO, trying to find solace in that sweet bosom before the closure of City of Heroes. Have I told you yet how Ran-san (aka "Namiru" in earlier posts) pledged to never play LOTRO? Have I mentioned that he just bought the Riders of Rohan expansion and is currently marching his way through the Lone Lands on a level 30 toon? Of course, Matt, Sarah, and I have been there with him.
     But to get back on topic, it's not that Barry is a bad gamer. He's saved my skin quite a few times. It's not that TSW is a bad game; I've been enjoying myself. It's just that certain teams of people work better in certain games. Barry and I work pretty well together in Champions and City of Heroes. However, get us to try to work together on even the most straight forward of TSW's missions and we're usually slaughtered at least once. Usually from some misinformation gleaned from a website, or faulty memory. When I teamed with Matt and Eric, I didn't die once.
     What I enjoy most about this game is the immersion. It sounds silly, but I'm the kind of person who loves to approach random NPC's and see what they have to say, read their back stories, watch practically every cutscene, and follow every dialog tree I can for them. I want to know the whole story, explore the entire city without leaving any trace of fog of war, gather all the exploration badges, and do as many side missions as possible to unlock further information about the world I'm playing in. It comes down to a love of miniature things. I used to love collecting dollhouse furniture and stuff like the original Polly Pocket and Littlest Pet Shop toys. Maybe it's a craving for control over something. Maybe it's a creative outlet for building my own character's backstory. Either way, TSW satisfies this curiosity in a way that CoH, AO, and even LOTRO haven't. The illusion always seems to wear thin in those games, but not so much in TSW.


The Way to Kumas Part III

     The breath of the travelers came heavy now. It felt as if they had been running for days, although the night sky had yet to lighten to dawn. Flanking Growgash, the two older men struggled to keep pace. Finally the one with beard turned to shout across to her.
      “This jaunt is not for me!” The other looked across from the other side of the half-orc.
      “Indeed, cousin, 'taint for me, either. What say we make our stand here?” The one with the scar over his eye answered. Jaxom pushed them on with Growgash at the rear. She glanced back and saw their shadowy pursuer rise up upon the two men and over them. Then there were angry shouts. The darkness seemed to rush over the two only to leave them standing astonished, but unharmed. They turned back to glare furiously at their escaping comrades, soundless curses on their lips.
      The half-orc turned to look ahead of them, and her eyes met the priest’s.
      “If it catches us, we will be dead,” he said with certain fear in his eyes. “We make for the temple. Once there we will be...” And he continued on with redoubled speed, as if Hell itself were at his heals.
      “We will be what, old man?!” but her scream was lost as all five dashed haphazard through the thick undergrowth. Beside her, she saw the young soldier go down, and leaping a broken tree, she scooped him up and flung him over her shoulder. “Stop struggling, little pig, or I'll throw you to the wolves behind us.” And indeed, there were wolves behind them now. The half orc could hear the familiar snarling growls, but she dared not look back no matter what fantastical shape their pursuers took.
      Ahead their salvation loomed in the form of a stone door built into the side of a small overgrown knoll. The priest and his boy stopped short, just long enough for the former to slice his thumbs and press them into the stone on opposite sides of the entrance. Then they were greeted with darkness ahead and from behind, but to Growgash, the entrance to the tomb was a bit less animated than their enemies. She regretted this thought with a last push into the stifling blackness. Safe but not safe.
With a thud, she dumped her load upon the warm stone floor and approached what looked to be the silhouette of Jaxom. The bag the priest carried glowed blue with just enough light to guide their way.
      “What is this place?” the man asked their wards, his eyes flashing angrily in the dark. “And what of the others left behind?”
      The apprentice boy turned to them, “Worry not of them. They were dead before, and are still now. Their shares are yours. If you live. If we live.” He turned to his master and the old man nodded.
      “What do you mean? They looked alive enough back there,” Growgash heard herself say.
      “Yes, the trick is to convince them they are alive.” With that, the boy and his master turned to move further into the tomb. “This is the place of our gods. We will not be safe here.” His young, high pitched voice echoed through the passage. Behind her, Growgash felt the hand of the young mercenary grope at her shoulder.
      “Wh-Where we goin'?” his voice wavered.
      “Forward,” the half orc turned to follow the others before the light could grow much dimmer.


Lounge L33ts Episode 4: The Prancing Pony

We manage to get Randy to play LOTRO, Sarah Bloy joins us to bestow some Tolkien wisdom, and we hear the Tale of the Bag of Devouring (it involves a dragon).


Breath Deep

"Okay, you're going to feel a small pinch..."
There was a small pinch. And another one, and another one, and another one. Then time seems to skip.
"Okay, you'll feel some vibrations and hear some noise. If there is any sharpness, please let me know."
"Have yous tarted the gas already?"
The assistant smiles and nods. Everything is very floaty and I giggle a bit. Breath deep through your nose, not through your mouth. Your legs are shaking, try wiggling them or they'll cramp up. The doctor doesn't use a very good razor does he?
"Okay, can I have the sharpie?"
It's really loud. Boy that light is bright, bright enough for me to see the weaving on the doctor's scrubs. The stubble stands out on his jaw and neck like tiny black tree trunks on chocolate.
"Okay, and now the bee."
More noise. I can't hear myself think. You're breathing through your mouth again, breath through your nose. Long, slow breaths. The legs are shaking again. Seems to happen every time with the noise. My knees and wrists feel heavy, maybe that's why my legs are shaking. Long, slow breaths.
"Okay, now the sharpie."
This low pitched squealing is going to deafen me, if the oven in the coffee shop doesn't. The weaving in the scrubs stands out. I must look goofy, with my tongue lolling around in my head, my eyes rolling upward to stare at the small blue mounds of the weaving. They are like tiny blue foot hills leading into a brown and black forest.
"Okay, Erin, now you are going to hear some crunching and popping noises."
Breath deeper. Sounds just like when you got your braces in. Breath deeper, long, slow breaths. The mask is annoying as it lays against my cheek. It's bigger and more clumsy than I thought it would be.
"Now the large."
I wonder where we'll head off to after this. Maybe out to dinner, but I won't be able to have much. I can't wait to play on Lord of the Rings Online. I need to make a dwarf Guardian. I feel floaty again, but at the same time, my wrists and knees still feel heavy.
"Okay, now Erin, we'll have to ask you to close your eyes for this part."
I do so, and feel dry spaghetti being pulled across my lip, once twice, thrice, and then a short tug.
"Okay, we're all finished. Let's get you into the oxygen."
Breath deep. Everything is numb on my left side.
"Well, I was expecting it to be a difficult extraction, but it went much better than I thought." The doctor crosses his arms. "We'll probably look into taking the upper two out, then later at taking out the lower right. We'll go over some rules for when you get home, and get some prescriptions ready for you. I do not want you to go home and go to sleep. You need to pick up the medications and take them with some food on your stomach. Are there any questions?"
"No doctor."
"Okay, we'll schedule you for a followup exam to see how everything is coming along. Have a god day." He smiles and leaves as the asssitant turns and starts going over a lot of the procedures that I can't remember.
"Don't worry, I have everything I just said written down here," and she holds up a piece of paper.


Liunge L33ts Episode 2: The Ski Chalet Part 1

     I think we spend more time reminiscing about City of Heroes/Villains, than we do berating NC Soft for...well...being assholes and shutting down the game in late November. I'm sorry if you're tired of hearing the CoH community voice their disapproval over the game's closure. I disagree with Ran-san (aka "Nomiru" in previous posts), I know the game wouldn't have been around forever. Eventually everything ends. This was not the way to end it though, and NC Soft has only themselves to blame for the bad PR. However, even after all that, I'm still going to play Guild Wars 2. I figure I paid for it, there's no subscription, and I'm pretty sure I can enjoy the game without paying into the cash shop, so why not? I've only managed to log about 2 hours of gameplay, but it was fun enough to make me want to return.
     This episode, I also introduce Eric "Setzer" Craig, the current Head of Registration for Geek.Kon 2013 as one of our guests. He's been playing CoH for quite a while and I hope I can have on in future episodes to discuss other MMO's.
     We wind up touching on a wide variety of topics this episode including Tabula Rasa, Korean Grinders, esports, The Secret World and other Funcom games, etc. As always, polite, constructive criticism is welcome, as this show is still very much a work in progress.


Lounge L33ts Episode 1: The Grind (Pilot)

Well, here we go! The very first episode of Lounge L33ts. There was a bit of trouble with recording for this episode. Like I said in the inroduction, this was an episode of firsts. If FRAPS shows numbers in a magenta/pinkish-puple hue, it may not be recording properly. When we finished, I opened the file to find that only the last three minutes had been recorded. Then Matt let me know FRAPS should be loaded (although not necessarily recording) before the game is loaded. In order to get the backup footage to me through the dropbox folder (restricted to 2GB in the free version), Matt converted the file to an flv file. Unfortunately, Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD doesn't read flv's and I had to use Total Video Converter to convert the file into a wmv, a file type I knew the editing software would recognize. After editing, it was rendered into one of the "Internet HD" file types offered and sent through Total Video Converter to become an flv file again. At 1.9 GB, it was too big to post on Bliptv. So I went back into Sony Vegas and rendered the edit into an "Internet SD" file, which was small not to have to be converted in TVC. It was a bit of work, and hopefully the next episode will go more smoothly. Anyway, in this episode Matt Winchell, Ran-san, and I meet up in Anarchy Online's The Grind where we discuss  how we all got caught up in MMO's, the news on Game Director Fia "Lindelu" Tjernberg's departure, and the prospects on the future of the game:

Lounge L33ts Introduction

     So why am I doing this? Well, I've been sitting on the sidelines for a while, enjoying other people's webseries and podcasts, always with an itch to try something of my own. I have always wanted to do a Let's Play series, however I don't feel that I could bring anything new to this over saturated field. At least not just yet. Video games are my latest interest, but I wanted to do something I felt hadn't been overdone. I don't know of any webseries that focus exclusively on recording  podcasts/vlogs from within taverns and bars in MMO's. I'm sure they exist. I know some shows will do a live streaming broadcast of at least one episode from within an MMO or other web based game. But when compared to the glut of Let's Plays, Playthroughs, and Walkthroughs out there, it still feels like a novel idea. At least to me, anyway.
     When I have a question about a game, "Mad" Matt Winchell and Randy "Ran-san" McCullick are usually the people I go to along with Robert "bob" Laib and "Drenivian." So I naturally turned to Matt and Ran-san as guests for the first episode which took place in Anarchy Online's The Grind bar, Atlantean server. For now, the series will probably just focus on me and my friends sitting around in various bars and taverns in our favorite MMO's. I have no idea how people will react, though. So far, I'm assuming people with either like it, or think it's boring and move on to something else.
     There are quite a few bugs to work through still. The pilot episode was the first time I uploaded a video to Bliptv (I've only ever uploaded one video to Youtube before this). It was the first time I tried to record video game footage with FRAPS (it failed and I wound up having to rely on Matt's backup footage). It was also the first time I'd used Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD (or other video editing software) to edit a video, and the first time I used Total Video Converter (rather than TsunamiEnc, which I used in 2006 to make my own DVD's). Bliptv also wanted me to come up with promotional materials, which I was kind of expecting. However, screencaps of the episode, while they worked well for filler on the Facebook page, would not do for the actual show's webpage. Fortunately I came up with the basic idea of the beer and martini glasses lit up in neon under the "Lounge L33ts" title. We'll see how this goes.
     Monday (10/1/2012) Tuesday (10/2/2012), I plan on doing the show again with Ran-san and Matt, and maybe a couple other people. We'll be in City of Heroes, Pocket D, Virtue server to discuss last month's shocking reveal of that game's shut down at the end of November. You can tune in to new episodes on Bliptv:

I also have a Facebook group set up here: http://www.facebook.com/LoungeL33ts

"The lounge is open 24 hours with no age limit."


Let's Play Borderlands Episode 9

Surprisingly, Sledge was a lot harder this time around. When we first fought him, he went down pretty quickly with my Soldier and Matt’s Hunter. It could just be that our load outs weren’t the greatest, or that we pretty much just charged in there thinking it’s be easy again. We may have been a higher level in first playthrough, too. I did notice a lot of henchmen around Sledge that didn’t seem to be there the first time. In other words, we wind up dying…a lot. I haven’t sat down to watch this episode yet, but I’ll post if I see anything which may have caused this.

Let's Play Borderlands Episode 8

This one…This is still a pip to get through, although we had more trouble with the bandits this time rather than the skags. I also have to remember to let the tank do their job and re-release the turret in a timely manner.


Fight for City of Heroes!

     If you had asked me which game, City of Heroes or Anarchy online, was most likely to shut down first, I would not have guessed City of Heroes. And yet here I am, writing about something I never figured I'd be writing about. I was on Skype when my friend “Namiru” messaged me: “GW2?” which was the status on my profile. I told him that I had picked up the game at the behest of one of my coworkers, despite also playing both The Secret World and World of Warcraft. I was interested in the fact that GW2 had an open world system in place, rather than the persistence based world from GW1. To which Nam responded: “I'm not TOUCHING anything NCSoft made after what they pulled today.” That's when I found out they were shutting down City of Heroes/Villains/Rogues in November. You can read the official notice here:
      I was totally shocked, as were many other devoted players. I did notice a decrease in population between when I joined on May 19, 2008, and when the Dual Pistols power debuted (for those who pre-purchased the Going Rogue expansion) around March 2, 2010. After that, the population seemed to spike and fall again until Going Rogue finally hit. I noticed yet another spike ending in a plateau in November 2011, when the game went Free-to-Play/Freemium. At first, nearly all the servers were in the red, but by the time I came back to game they had returned to either green (low) or yellow (medium). Occasionally on the weekends, Freedom and Virtue would reach red or be grayed out as full. Still, after the conversion to the f2p model, the population on Virtue seemed to remain substantial and never dip as low as it was in mid-2009.
      Once the rage around the fact that I had just spent $143 for a 1 year sub, only to get about 7 months of game play out of it had subsided, the questions started surfacing. What was going to happen to all the proposed content? Hadn't the team at Paragon Studios just added the new Staff Fighting, Water Blast, and Plant Affinity power sets? Weren't they working on new content for Praetoria? Might there actually be a City of Heroes 2 planned that would make them do this? And most of all: “Why?”
      Most people I've talked to suggest that it's financial. I find that hard to believe, though. As stated before, several new and intriguing power sets had been introduced, along with new enhancements, inspirations, travel powers, emotes, and some very detailed costume sets. There was also the Blockbuster Summer event where the players participated either in gladiatorial combat in an arena, or in a casino heist. LOTRO has done a similar thing during their Yule Festival at the theater in Frostbluff. I saw many players partaking in these activities with cash shop products. Why keep developing an unsuccessful game for nearly a year instead of simply axing it and cutting losses?
      I think the most likely reason (cited by ChaosD1 on MMO Grinder:
http://mmogrinder.net/2012/09/02/r-i-p-city-of-heroes/#comments ) is to try to push players off of an old acquired IP on to Aion, a title more inline with the company's Korean “grindfest” themed MMO's.. Some people are suggesting in the comments of the above post, that Nexon may somehow be responsible. This theory is based on their buying up a significant amount of NCSoft's stock, effectively making them the biggest holder:

      For NCSoft's financial earnings, check here. I've not been patient enough to really sift through this information:

     I was on the Massively website looking up articles on this closing, and came upon one that asked what the reader's favorite memories of the game were. One of mine was when I first started playing and was running around a park to the North of Kings Row. Spotting a purple named enemy below me, I made a quick escape. Then out of curiosity, and the fact that it wasn't following me, I returned to carefully observe what I'd stumbled upon: the Clockwork “Paladin.” Over the years, I would catch a glimpse of someone fighting this Giant Monster, or see alerts of it's impending assembly. Once I even saw a solo level 50 controller take it down with pets.
     Kings Row was one of my favorite areas, although even Galaxy City had some fun nooks and crannies before the rock slammed into it. Gemini Park was where I first encountered my dreaded enemy, the Vahzilok Eidolan. At least in the lower levels. Valor Bridge in Independence Port was another favorite hangout, especially when you Super Jumped off the top down into the bay. Another fun place was Croatoa, the monsters there having also been used in the Halloween Event. They would jump out of the door every time you got a “trick,” whereas a “treat” earned you temporary costumes, inspirations, special salvage, etc. I'll also miss the Ski Chalet and trying to earn the special badge from the ski jump ramp. It was fun slipping and sliding all over the place! And the lodge at the top was great for sitting around and chatting with friends.
      Then there are all the things I never got to do, such as get a character to level 50, explore the Incarnate abilities, do a Task Force or Trial, not to mention fully explore the new Dark Astoria or Praetoria. Hell, my Praetorian is only level 15. There were ideas for future characters and rerolls of current heroes and villains, too. I was also working on a few CoH themed projects for the blog here such as a “Grand Tour” themed series where I explore various parts of Paragon City that might fly under people's radar, probably linking to Paragon Wiki for people looking to collect the exploration badges. Hopefully I can get a few screen caps of the House of the Wayward Soul super group base. I was also working on several character profiles such as the Vellum one posted.
      It seems most of the Legendary super group and my friends are giving Champions Online another try. Namiru says it's a bit better than when he last tried it. I have only just fired it up on the new gaming desktop, and am out of the tutorial zone with a CO version of archer extraordinaire, Elsie Dracona. I'm also going forward with the “Grand Tour” series, only it'll probably focus on LOTRO now, with maybe whatever I can get of CoH before it shuts down. I'll be taking screen shots of all the CoH characters I can unlock and putting up profiles of them.
      A lot of people also seem to be holding out for a last minute save for CoH from someone willing to buy the rights to the IP, the characters, and the engine. There is also talk of a fan run server. Author Mercedes Lackey, apparently a long time player, has thrown her support behind the campaign to keep the game going and there has recently been a large protest staged by players across 30+ instances of the Virtue server. TonyV has organized a special message board found here:

      A writing campaign has been organized on the Titan Network forums. The etiquette guidelines and addresses for CEO Mr. Taek Jin Kim can be found here:

     The heroes of Paragon City have always been there me. It's high time I be there for them.


Gamepadding Through The Secret World

     I've been playing The Secret World off and on for the past month, or so. Everything was going well until I reached the first combat sequence after watching my character fall unconscious outside London's Ealdwic Park. This was when things got rather difficult, and painful, fast. The shooter style combined with the hotbar commands and tab targeting put a bit of a strain on my wrist. The result is that I stopped playing, did a little research, and found the following link on the TSW forums:

      From there, I downloaded the Xpadder program for about $10:

     Now I'm sure more than a few of you reading this know of other, better (free) programs and techniques for getting a gamepad to work with The Secret World. I'm also fairly positive the layout pictured isn't the most efficient. However this is my first time trying to set up a gamepad to work with a PC game, so this layout is very much a work in progress.

     What we see here is Set 1 of 3, where I try to put the most useful buttons such as main attacks, movement, tab targeting, and camera. When you first create a new layout, you can select from a list on the Xpadder website to load the image of the controller you are mapping, in this case a Logitech Gamepad F310. I made sure to register the movements of all the analog sticks and buttons with the program. I then went through and assigned key(s) from the keyboard to each button and each direction of the analog stick. The sticks can be assigned as few a 4 direction functions and up to 8, as well as defaults for W,A,S,D and the arrow keys. Clicking the little wrench will show you more options. In order to keep everything organized, I named the buttons after their function by clicking on the green “Abc” area in the Xpadder UI.
     I was able to also bind multiple keyboard functions to one button/analog direction as well. You can do this by clicking on the initial key you want to bind in the Xpadder keyboard interface, then going into the “Advanced” menu to add a second key bind. This helped in setting up the camera movement, since I could map the right click mouse button along with a direction:

     Now here comes the tricky part. Since there are a lot more keys for TSW than just the primary ones featured in Set 1, I needed to make a second Set. Once I created Set 2, I had to link it to Set 1 to be able to switch between the two. The forum post recommended using the “When Held” assignment to one of the triggers/bumpers. Instead, I played around with the “One Way Click” and “Two Way Click” options before realizing that all of these functions needed an anchor point between the sets involved. I decided to stick with the “When Held” function as it was the easiest to work with. I then went through and, still using the TSW forum post as a guide, assigned the next round of commands to Set 2:

     Finally, Set 3 focused on the basic functions of the mouse in interacting with the GUI:

     I plan on using this program to assign keys for Age of Conan, as well. Considering that game relies on tab targeting and directional assault on the enemy's flanks, it should come in handy. I hope this this post has been of interest.


Let's Play Borderlands Episode 5

I'm not sure I remember what we did in this episode. Did we do anything? Oh yeah that's right! We beat up some bandits and skags and find the pieces to a not so wonderful sniper rifle:


Let's Play Borderlands Episode 4

     In which Matt and I search down the memoirs of a lonely, misunderstood recoding device and have another bout with Bone Head. This time on film :D !


The Way to Kumas Part II

      Below the canopy of the trees, the sparks struggled through the kindling. Growgash snorted in frustration at the mercenaries' attempts to light a blaze large enough to roast their dinner. They had refused help from her and the priest and apprentice, not that their employers had really offered any. Jaxom spurned their company as he did not trust the look of them.
      With the blaze finally lit and the small game they'd caught eagerly devoured, the company settled for the night. Growgash drew first watch and Jaxom stayed with her as he was next. As she unsheathed her sword for cleaning, she noticed the blonde man inching towards her.
      “You're a brave one, to approach me when I have my sword out,” she eyed him.
      “You think I wouldn't notice you staring at me earlier. You orcs have curious taste in mates...” her ears pricked at his hot breath. “But you're attractive enough, and a good fighter.”
      “Unlike some I could mention...” she looked across into his dark eyes. Very few human men were equal to her height, let alone taller than her. The canopy of the dense forest trapped the heat from the day and her leathers were chafing badly. A bead of sweat dropped from the man's chin onto her hand. On the other side of the fire there was movement.
      The priest and his apprentice awoke and took up positions on opposite sides of the fire. Then steepling their fingers they began to mutter in unison. The younger mercenary peered from under his blankets nervously while his companions buried themselves in irritation. Abruptly the chanting stopped but the two worshipers remained at their posts. From the corner of her eye, Growgash saw a spider's silken web stretch and billow outward without aid of a breeze. Indeed, the air all about them seemed deathly still and the fire seemed dimmer by the moment.
      Beyond the ring of protection black shapes formed and lumbered closer. Growgash and Jaxom lept up, swords ready as the older men rubbed sleep from their eyes and crawled to their weapons. No matter how tightly the younger man held his sword, the blade quivered in his grip. Now the shadow figures towered over them, still obscured by the darkness despite the rapidly dwindling fire.
Simultaneously the priest and his charge jumped to their feet.
      “Leave! Now! We cannot hope to fight these beasts!” and they did so, dashing away from the fire. For a moment the shadowy figures arched over the blaze, then swallowed it in pursuit. There was still light, however. Ahead of the soldiers, Growgash saw the bag slung over the priest’s shoulder. It glowed brightly with the same blue light from before. What's more, it was moving, as if a knot of snakes were writhing inside.


Let's Play Broderlands Episode 2

"Mad" Matt Winchell and I continue on to Skag Gulley. What will we find there? Treasure? Weird alien creatures? Rogue human elements? Yes!


City of Heroes Profiles: Vellum

“A shadow slipping from corner to corner.
A glimpse of darkness in the night.
A curious little stranger in this strange world.
Only Vellum knows his own might.”

      I've been leveling Vellum for quite a while now. He is a Dark Melee/Dark Armor Tank created in 2009, around the same time my friend Bob created the super group House of the Wayward Soul. A living shadow visiting from a distant void, Vellum fit right in with the House's theme of strange and off the wall characters. He's been raiding the fridge, “borrowing” salvage supplies, and teleporter hopping ever since.
Vellum atop a building in Steel Canyon

      Vellum was created during a time of turmoil and altitist. Restlessly, I moved from character to character, experimenting with different power sets and trying to stay alive in a city that wanted my heroes (and villains) dead. I remember the first build, a haphazard application of slots to powers I didn't need. In particular, I selected the stealth pool power, which was later overshadowed by a similar invisibility power in the Dark Armor set, making it redundant. This was in addition to a myriad of enhancements that, while they fit with the powers, didn't play well with each other. In other words, while Vellum could do damage, he couldn't hit, couldn't block, and suffered from a massive drain of endurance every time he activated his shields or threw a punch. Vellum couldn't survive, and thus, was a failure of a tank. Out of frustration, I shelved him and moved on to other characters.
      Then “Drenivian” came to the rescue. Dren, also known as “Ed Boy” or “Edward” is a real life friend of mine (as well as that of Matt, Bob, and “Namiru”), whom I first met at the University of Wisconsin Anime Club in 2003. Dren was able to walk me through a quick repec of the character and also took me and Matt through some missions to learn how to tank properly. I also started crafting Set Invention Origin enhancements to improve multiple aspects of a power at once.
      But now we get to Vellum's origin. He is a living shadow from another dimension where only two light sources exist amongst the darkness. Every now and then, these two light sources cross over each other and wipe out most of the darkness between them.

      Vellum's people have been visiting Earth and other similar planets for quite some time now. His interest is in studying human society, and where better than Paragon City? Here, he can observe humanity at its best, and its worst, as well as how humans deal with attacks by outside forces. The Rikti are invading, although what they want is yet unknown to our hero.
      Being a living shadow, Vellum can take on various shapes and forms, including a flying beast. 

He's even able to manipulate darker colors to create his near human angelic female form.

 At first he was only able to travel and explore his surroundings at night, due to the brightness of an Earth day. 

Even then, he had to be cautious about traveling through underpasses and under street lights, for fear of disappearing. There is a solution, though. Vellum has begun pouring himself into human clothing and wearing a rubber mask. He hasn't quite gotten certain aspects of the human body down, particularly eyes.

      During his travels at night, Vellum has had his share of run ins with the Clockwork, in many of their forms.

 He's also had to tough it out with Trolls, villainous societies bent on world domination, and centurions. Civilians have nothing to fear from him, although his appearance maybe strange. So if you see an odd looking man with eyes black as a void, don't be afraid. It's only Vellum, and he's just curious about you.


Borderlands Let's Play: Opening

     Last November, "Mad" Matt Winchell and I filmed a good chunk of the Zombie Island of Dr.Ned DLC for Borderlands. We were hoping to wrap up it up this summer and move on to something else. Except for one problem. A friend of mine was nice enough to build me a gaming desktop, including transferring files and programs onto the new machine. When I went to start up Borderlands, it told me the files located on the computer were newer and larger than the files in the Steam cloud storage. I decided to upload the newer files to Steam cloud and ...found all my characters had been replaced by a single level 45 Siren. Apparently my friend's files had been uploaded in place of mine, plus I was logged in on her account for Co-Op play as well. So, Matt and I have decided to start over and here is a sneak preview of the result:


On to Azeroth

     I've been meaning to give World of Warcraft a shot for a long time. I tried playing it on a trial account a few months ago with Matt Winchell. We stopped after about 5 minutes of playing when Matt realized we couldn't team together as freebie players. Matt couldn't wait to jump, as he hates what he sees as grindy quests. The thing is, I see the same kind of quests in LOTRO, City of Heroes, and even Anarchy Online. In most cases, this is because of the popularity of WoW. I want to experience what everyone else seems to be experiencing so that I can talk about it a little more at the MMO Worlds panel I'm running at Geek.Kon this year.
     So why wasn't I playing back when it was newer? I was interested, that's for sure. But I was also hearing very disturbing things about it. Back in 2008, I heard about someone's roommate getting so into it, that they never new they had failed out of college. Horror stories like this kept me away from the game until recently.
     However, I've been playing MMO's for quite some time now, and nothing too serious has happened. My bank is a little more drained, especially on account of all the free-to-play games. I'll let you think about that for a sec. Plus, if I stick to a trial account again, I'll still get a feel for the game that really pushed MMO's into the mainstream, even if it's in a limited way. Wish me luck!


Geek.Kon 2012 Links of Interest!

Barbarian Wizard Geekbot

     Well, the time has come to start pimping out the annual Geek.Kon convention! Geek.Kon is an anime, scieince fiction, fantasy, tabletop gaming, and video gaming convention based out of Madison, WI. This year we will be on September 7-9th at the Madison Marriott West. Also, this year's theme is "Geekdom is Magic!"

     To register for day passes, go here:
    Registration Form
     To sign up to run a tabletop game (must register for day passes first):
    Tabletop Game Registration
     To register to run a panel, go here (must register for day passes first):
    Panel Registration

     We've got a few great Guests lined up as well, plus a great event known as Kon.Quest! We can't forget the contests, either:

      What better way to fly the flag of your favorite fandom, than by participating in our Fanfiction contest? (Also, how's THAT for alliteration?)

     But perhaps you're  more of the visually oriented person. If so, enter our Fanart Contest!

     Other Events soon to come are the Geek.Show talent show, the AMV Contest, Karaoke, Mixer, and, of course, Rocky Horror Picture Show! I hope to see you all at the con!


Mad Matt Reviews: Giorgio Moroder's Metropolis (Romeomoon Debut)

I'm on TV! Well... bliptv that is... While he was staying over during Odyssey Con weekend, Matt thought we should check out a version of Metropolis we noticed as we skimmed through the selection on Netflix. I had noticed it before, but the whole 80's soundtrack made the thing sound too corny for me. It turns out, I really enjoyed it, especially the 80's music! This is my video debut on Mad Matt Reviews.


The Tale of Narn the Barbarian

     Narn wasn't born on the battlefield or in the pages of a pulp fantasy novel. He was born out of a few hundred lighted dots on a screen, based on a preselected image of the Diablo II Barbarian class. Through a mix of armor, weaponry, and slap dash skill point assignment, he became a killing machine... of sorts. Along with his plucky amazon sidekick, who sadly never saw the same kind of weapons upgrade and thus wound up dying repeatedly, he traveled the wild lands of Sanctuary, seeking fame and fortune. It turns out sidekicks aren't cheap to resurrect.
      Back in 2008, a girl I worked with, we'll call her “Amazon Vegan,” convinced me to buy the Diablo II Battle Chest, which, at the time, contained the original Diablo, Diablo II, and the Lord of Destruction expansion. She had everything planned out for us: I would play a “tank” and she would be the ranged fighter. It was a weekend around Easter, and I had had a particularly bad day at work. To console me, we went to VA's apartment and, with her husband looking on, installed Diablo II on my old Compaq Presario laptop.
      Now back in the early 2000's, I had seen the counter monkeys at my local comic book store play Diablo II, and it looked interesting. Unfortunately, my parents were lagging far behind when it came to home PC's, so playing the game on our computer at the time was out of the question. In fact, it just still barely ran on the laptop. That might have been due to us leeching off the local RadioShack Wi-Fi.
      This was the first time I had played a video game with the hopes of beating it on at least the normal difficulty. We had a Sega Genesis when I was young and I played a little Sonic the Hedgehog here and there. Now I was being introduced to fairly complicated RPG mechanics and character building, and it was a little bit intimidating. I had to learn to sort through loot, use gems and runes, level up my skills, repair my equipment, read a map, read a mini map, and use various hot keys. Teaming up with a level 97 electricity sorceress, we were able to make it pretty far into Nightmare mode. Then I had to quit to work on the Geek.Kon convention for the summer. It was fun while it lasted, though.
      Towards the end of my run on Diablo II, I ventured into the world of MMO's with a subscription to City ofHeroes. Like with Diablo II, I had seen some of the people at the University of Wisconsin Madison Anime Club playing it before meetings and became interested. My system was just barely able to chug through it. On top of that, I had never really played a video game that had a 3D interactive environment to it. I literally had to learn how to walk all over again using the WASD controls and the mouse.

      Soon, Narn ached to return to the battlefield. I remade him in CoH as a Willpower/Battle Axe Tank. One of the most satisfying things is slamming a battleaxe into the face of a startled Hellion. Narn is still growing in this universe, so expect to hear more of his adventures in Paragon City.
     Narn can also be found wandering the mines of the town of Torchlight, slowly uncovering the truth behind the incursion of evil there.

     And now that Diablo III is out, Narn can return to his own universe to confront the seemingly invincible Diablo once again. No matter what strange worlds he finds himself in, he'll always be there to fight against the powers of evil, even if only for the chance to gain the best sword in the game.


The Maw of the Beast

About a couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine asked if I would kitty sit for her. It seemed like a fairly easy task of feeding, cleaning, and playing with kitty until she returned from her trip to Germany. It's been going fairly well, except that kitty, named Miu Miu, likes to give love bites when he feels he's not getting enough attention. They would be nothing, really, except for the size of this cat. One moment I'm brushing, the next I'm wondering where my knee cap has gone. Oh, that's right...It's in the gaping maw of Catzilla here. It's not enough to draw blood (he usually grabs for sleeves or pant legs). He weighs about 25 pounds, maybe 22, and when he sits up the fat tumbles down his back to spill over the tops of his knees. I've been trying not to feed him too much, and have introduced him to the concept of a laser light...and exercise.  Here he is for your viewing pleasure:
Lying in wait..Like a fuzzy alligator.

The beast stalks its next prey.

"Feed me....."

"I could almost be mistaken for a foot stool."

"I hear your knee caps taste divine!"



Odyssey Con 12: Brought a Friend

     This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending Odyssey Con 12: Apocalypse Cow. It's a Science Fiction literature and tabletop gaming convention held every year in April at the Radisson Hotel in Madison, WI. It also sports a suite converted into an animation viewing room, a consuite (with hot dogs, pizza, chips, bagels, donuts, candy, coffee, soda, and homemade miso soup), a LAN, a Dealer's Room, an Art Auction, and five panel rooms. This year's guest included Larry Niven, Steven Barnes, and Kenneth Hite.
     I first heard about Oddcon back in 2007, when the fact that it existed surfaced as I was helping plan Geek.Kon. After finishing work on my own convention, I registered for Oddcon 2008 and only then did I notice they had George R.R. Martin lined up as a guest. I've been going ever since (with the exception of 2009, when No Brand Con in Eau Claire, WI fell on the same dates).
     This year, I was able to bring a friend, "Mad" Matt Winchell. I mostly go to this convention for the panels, as the panelists are entertaining and the subject matter is engaging. I'd have to say one of my favorite panelists are Richard S. Russel who's Science Fiction movie reviews can be subscribed to by sending a blank email to: RSRSFMR-subscribe@yahoo.com. We went to his "Fantasy Films of 2012: The Year of the Superhero" on Friday night, and found out about a few films that had flown under our radar. In particular, I'd like to check out I am Number Four and "The Skin I Live In. Biutiful topped the list for best fantasy film of 2012, and Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives was at the bottom. This surprised me, especially since Uncle Boonmee received such critical acclaim, so I think I'll check it out and make my own decision. The winner of the Muzzy award for worst movie of the year went to The Smurfs. I'll never forget the look on Richard's face when someone complained that they actually liked the Smurfs movie! Overall this was a fun panel with mandatory audience participation.
     Other panels we attended on Friday were: "Deconstructing Green Lantern," focusing on the less than stellar new movie; "Combat in SF" which we were late for, but seemed to mostly discuss incorporating realistic armed and unarmed combat into your writing; and "TEOTWAKI: Literature."
     There were two panels focused on the theme of The End Of The World As We Know It, one in literature and the other in mass media. This discussion focused on Truly Apocalyptic fiction, where nothing survives; the Post-Apocalyptic fiction, with some vestiges of society remaining, and Metaphorical Apocalyptic fiction, which tells of the death of certain philosophical ideas. I was particularly interested in the third category, since matters of the mind seem to intrigue me more than physical challenges. Some of the themes from this category included: death of spontaneity (Brave New World), death of idealism (The Once and Future King), death of freedom (1984), death of corporeality (Childhood's End), and the death of biology (Do Androids dream of Electric Sheep?). Sunday featured another TEOTWAKI panel, this one focused on television, movies, video games, and media other than literature.
     Saturday saw Matt help in setting up the AV for the "Moons of Barsoom" panel. It was a good thing, too, as this panel featured a slide show of past cover artwork dating from when the Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsoom series was published. Apparently, A Fighting Man of Mars has been cursed with the largest amount of poorly drawn cover art. "Are we becoming Earth-bound in media SF&F?" had panelist Janet E. Lewis demand "more weird aliens in space!" One of the other panelists, Patrick Tomlinson, pointed out that much of Sci-Fi and Fantasy seem less fluffy and more character oriented and were better for it. Although I like series like A Game of Thrones, some stories can become a little too soap opera like and begin to drag if they aren't done right. I, too, yearn for the days when aliens and spaceships dominated the large and small screens. I had forgotten how much campy fun the original Battlestar Galactica was. Looking at it now, I see the old series as almost an ersatz Star Wars Expanded Universe. "SF on TV" was another Richard S. Russel panel examining what was new, cancelled, and ongoing this year with Science Fiction television. I managed to film at least half an hour of the "Star Wars vs. Star Trek" panel which was a lot of fun. "The Hobbit after 75 yrs" was all right, but I felt it could have been a little more comprehensive. We fairly tired so we skipped out on the Guests of Honor speeches, the DJ and guest band (Sparklef*ck), and the drumming circle and headed home for the night.
     On Sunday, we attended the "D&D 5th Edition Wishlist" panel, where we compiled a list of things we'd like to see in the next edition of the Dungeons and Dragons pen and paper RPG. Rewards for diplomatically finding a way out of a situation rather than fighting, bonuses for supplemental work like crafting, and the ability to buff into gear and items were all mentioned. As was THACO. Next we stayed in the same room (Mooshenko's) for "The Muse Feels No Respect" which focused on where us creative types draw our inspiration, especially concerning copyrighted material. One of the panelists pointed out how disappointed she was that someone had retyped one of her poems word for word on their blog without asking permission. Jim Frenkel, an editor for TOR books and a favorite panelist of mine, mentioned that technically titles for books couldn't be copyrighted as long as the font and general design of the title was differed from any other books with the same title. "So, technically, you could title your book The Lord of the Rings!" Afterward, we headed to the "TEOTWAKI: Media" panel. However, in order to make it to the Geek.Kon meeting and get some dinner, we had to miss the "Game of Thrones SPOILERS" panel and Closing Ceremonies.
     In the end, I had a good time, captured quite a bit of footage, and got to see my friends, some of  who were experiencing the con for the first time have a good time. If you are ever in Madison, WI around Spring time, check out this convention. It's a smaller event (only about 400-500 attendance) compared to some of the cons I've been to which have attendance in the thousands,, but there's plenty of fun to be had.


Great Expectations: The News So Far...

     If you haven't seen it yet, the monthly update posted by Game Director Lindelu on Anarchy Online's forums was a big one:

     I'll be sad to see the Org cities disappear from the landscape, as they were some of the most familiar landmarks to make for if you were under attack and needed a quick escape. While they were fairly uniform in structure, they still had to be set up by the org owner. This lent to a feeling of player ownership and the idea that players could control, in a limited way, the landscape around them. That being said, I am interested to see what the devs come up with to replace them. The fact that they are willing to make such drastic changes to the game, changes that every player will notice no matter what their level is, points to the fact that the devs very much want to improve this game and keep it going for years to come.
     A change I'm really looking forward to is the possibility of a new GUI. I've always had some problem or other with the current GUI, mostly accidentally dragging a portion so that it detaches and won't click back into place. I usually eventually get it to work, but not after spending a bit of time trying to remember what to do. Friending people is another area that could use improvement. Pretty much now you type in the tag: /cc addbuddy PLAYERNAME. It works, but then I'm spoiled by the City of Heroes option of right clicking on someone, or their name, and sending a request to either their specific toon, or their global name.
     The new GMS will be quite helpful to use on my paid account, which I re-upped for about a month. I like the idea that they are at least letting fr00b account players look at the what's for sale in the shops.
     Also, am I the only one who doesn't think a server merge is the death of a game? The devs have assured the players that they are looking to keep the game going and in order to do so, it would be better to move everything onto a newer machine.
     This is especially true when/if the new graphics engine hits. Speaking of which, a new teaser trailer was released for the graphics update (WARNING! This trailer involves strobing lights which may cause seizures or blackouts. Proceed with caution):

     From what I could glean from the trailer, everything looks good. While I agree that the current graphics are very old looking, I still like the cyber punk feeling the overall art design presents. This is a game that thoroughly embraces ugliness as well as beauty, which I find refreshing.
     Lately, I've been playing some City of Heroes. I've mostly been working with Matt on getting the Midnighter missions out of the way for some of my characters. In fact, I've always wanted to post some of my character bios from that game. Hopefully something to make note of for the future.


MMO Grinder....is awesome!

     I'm a pretty busy person. When I'm not working 40+ hours a week at the local upscale grocery store, I'm doing artwork for Mad Matt Reviews, writing, reading, watching TV, and playing either single player games, or MMO's.
     I've been interested in MMO's since I started playing City of Heroes back in 2008. Strapped for cash, I began asking around for sites where I could find free-to-play MMO's. Someone on the Gaia Online forums pointed me toward onrpg.com. That's when my eyes were opened to the wide world of free-to-play MMO's. I had been on Gaia's zOMG beta, and it was okay, but this site offered real 3D games. Shooters, RPG's, Strategy, pretty much topped the list for me. Unfortunately, my ancient laptop couldn't play them. I had to settle for scrolling through the pages of games, watching video clips of game play and trailers, until my roommate moved and gave me her old Dell Dimension 4700 desktop.
     This was about that time that Bob and "Namiru" introduced me to Anarchy Online. By late 2009-2010, I had the second-hand desktop up and running and  a new netbook to chat over Skype with. Along with "Mad" Matt Winchell, I learned the ropes of AO from twinking in Backyard 5 to raiding in Temple of the Three Winds and Biomare. I joined The Independent Rubikans and now have about 8 toons spread out over a paid account and a fr00b account. I've even reupped my paid account for the month thanks to a game time card.
     I still visit onrpg.com, though, pining for what might have been. What if I had chosen the salad instead of the soup? Every time I visit, I see a new free-to-play MMO going into alpha or beta testing. I would love to try a few more games, but there just isn't time for them all!
     That's when I came upon MMO Grinder. Internet based review shows have become very popular in the past three years, or so. MMO Grinder seeks to inform people on many free-to-play MMO's such as Pangya, LUNA, and Lord of the Rings Online. Games are reviewed based on Graphics & Art Design, Music & Sound, Gameplay, Community, and Cash Shop. Other criteria are reasons to Play the game, reasons to Pay or use the cash shop, and why a player may want to Pass on a game. Each episode seems to be about half an hour long, and a lot of attention to detail is incorporated into the show. If you don't have time to actually play a lot of the free-to-play MMO's floating around out there, head on over to the show and see if ChaosD1 has reviewed one you're interested in.


Introduction: The Way to Kumas

The Way to Kumas is a short story focusing on a character I've made for my D&D group. Growgash is a half-human half-orc fighter with the usual troubled past and love life. In an effort to stretch the ol' creative writing muscles, I've started this short story. Hope you enjoy it!


The Way to Kumas

     The memory of the healer's fingers tracing their way across her wounds haunted her day dreams out here on the plains. The small escort of mounted men for hire and their priestly charge plodded onward through the saw grass and meadow flowers. Every now and then a butterfly in gold and blue, or a red meadow lark would pass their ears in halting flight. The young elf healer back in York had been gifted with long curling blonde locks down to his waist, nimble fingers, and blue green eyes that seemed as if the sea had been poured into them. Jaxon was blonde. She glanced over at the strong, muscled rider next to her. Perhaps he would be obliged to sate the fire in her loins tonight. Damn that healer! She had just gotten used to being on her own, too. Not many were willing to share the sleeping space of a half-orc half-human woman, even for little more than warmth.
It had been two days, since the party left York. Hired for a miserly sum of fifteen silver to escort the priest on his pilgrimage to Kumas. The city was only three days ride from out of town, and yet she had never heard of it. But the voyage promised a chance for change.
     Beside the old, bald man rode his apprentice, a boy of thirteen. Three other mercenaries had been hired in addition to Jaxon and herself, but she couldn't speak to how generously they had been paid. Two big ugly men and a younger man of about twenty, or so. They were clean but with broken teeth and matted hair. Like themselves, their piecemeal armor was battered but also cleaned with the worst dents beaten out. Growgash eyed the younger of the three behind her. He had a nervous quality to him, although he could handle the long sword he carried on his back. She had seen to that, herself. The bruises she'd given him would heal, but his broken pride and anger were another matter.
     The goat path they traveled was narrow and overwhelmed by the tall plains grasses. Small stones lay flush with the ground where the topsoil had been worn away. Growgash was just wondering at that when behind them came a high pitched squeal of anger that made the horses reel in terror. The priest had his hand up over his head, his eyes bulging his mouth gaping. The apprentice walked his pony forward and dismounted. Clearing the brush from the path, a black and mangled thing was revealed. He lifted what looked to be a skull not of humanoid form and, taking a knife to what was left of the neck, gingerly carried the grim find to his master. The old man took the skull and stared intently into eyes long gone, then pulled a small sack off of his belt and sprinkled what looked like sand onto its crown. A blue light flowed in the wake of the sand and for a brief moment, the being seemed alive again.
     Beyond in the distance a flock of birds burst forth from distant treetops. These were no meadowlarks, but large black creatures the size of a man. As these monsters lifted heavily into the air the black on their backs caught the sunlight and glistened gold. The soldiers' eyes grew wide as saucers at the sight.
     “Great golden beasts...” the younger mercenary gasped. A deep troubled feeling mixed with greed in Growgash. This was an evil portent, for no creatures like that openly dwelled within forest, plain, or mountain. To capture one would make mean only ill fortune. She had had enough of that in recent years. To her dismay, the priest pointed and howled ecstatically toward the spot of the forest the birds had fled.
     “This the place we must go to,” the apprentice told them, also pointing towards the thick woods. Growgash eyed the others and caught their anxious expressions.
     “By the gods,” spluttered one of the older men, “one feather off them kind will pay my way ta glory!”
     They left the path and headed into the forest. The priest had his apprentice hide the skull away in a sack, the blue light managing to shimmer through the rough fabric. The half-orc mused again, how it seemed almost alive.


Furnishing Your Home Through Questionable Means

The Hallway
     Beneath the Aegean trees near a Rhinoman village, there is a man waiting to be mugged. His wife in Stret West Bank stands outside their small dwelling, a knot tightening in her stomach. She's waiting to see where her husband has gone, and to see if some kind soul might assist her in locating him. As it is, your apartment here on Rubi-Ka is looking a bit bare, and you have some time on your hands to help a desperate woman sick with worry for her husband's well being.
      You approach the young alien looking woman. She has a rather blank, thoughtless look in her eyes. Could she be thinking of him lying dead in a ditch somewhere?
      “Have you seen my husband? His name is Pietro Molla, 

Gianna Molla, the origin of the quest.
Pietro Molla, a jerk.

I'm afraid he might have been abducted by aliens.” You stop for a second, taken aback.
      “No, I don't recall the name, so I don't think I've met him,” you reply hesitantly. She goes on to describe him, but it still doesn't ring a bell. You can see she's desperately worried, and apparently the investigators she sent earlier have dropped the case without telling her anything. It's almost as if no one cares about poor Pietro. She goes on about how bad the aliens are and how she's seen them with her own eyes.
      You try to sooth her, “I know they are bad, but I haven't heard of any abductions, though!” Her belief unwavering, she tells you she's convinced some soldiers from the government are covering up the abductions by hiding all evidence of them.
      “Who are they? You don't really think someone is trying to hide what happened to your husband?” you ask incredulously. She seems to think Omni-Tek is responsible for the cover-up and may be responsible for the disappearance of the investigators she's sent after her husband. You offer to look for her husband for her. She's hesitant to involve you, lest you disappear as well. You assert that you aren't afraid of “them.”
     “Well, I'm very greatful for your offer to help me. Please be careful!Oh, and if you find him, and bring me some evidence that he's still alive, please bring it to me, and I'll make sure you get a little something for your trouble.”
      After a long run, you find yourself approaching the husband, and skipping the pleasantries, you simply shout hey and ask him if he is Pietro Molla.
     “That's correct. What do you want?” he asks, eying you suspiciously. You tell him you've been looking all over for him. It was quite a jog to get here.
      “Oh yeah? This has, of course, nothing to do with my wife now, has it?”his suspicions seem to be growing. He tells you this is something she would try. Apparently she's living in the denial with the fact that their marriage is over. Nothing more left to do or say.
      “No, your wife didn't send me.” Smooth. All the suspicion in the world can't save him now. He chuckles nervously and, reaching into his pocket, pulls out a gold ring.
      “Oh, well, what do you want? If you're trying to mug me, I can ensure you I have no valuables. Maybe except this marriage ring. I don't need that anymore anyway.” and he hands you the ring. Smiling, you thank him for his generosity. He goes on about a great burden being lifted from his shoulders and how great it is to be free. You have your own suspicions about this man's true wealth, both concerning his character and his material possessions.
      However, you can't stop to think too long upon this. The long trek back to Gianna lies ahead.
You at least have the heart to tell the woman about her husband. Indeed, she's overwhelmed with happiness when you place the ring in her hand and tell her he is on his way back. She's going to make dinner for him, but before she goes she gives you her reward. In fact, she's so grateful, she gives you her husband's This Means couch.

This Means Corner Couch

It just barely fits through the Wampa doorway, as you drag it through the portal to join the rest in your apartment. You may sell one, or two and even get a good chunk of credits in return. You know you can get at least 75,000 for one of the bars. It's a good life, and you plan to enjoy it in a fully furnished home.

      Thus I learned how to farm up credits by selling furniture in the Sci-Fi MMO Anarchy Online. There is a tutorial for the Gianna Molla quest which you can find here: http://www.ao-universe.com/index.php?id=14&pid=25
It's quite a bit tedious, and best done between missions.  However, with the free jetpack from the 10 Year Anniversary event, it's a bit faster to get through. This is also a timed mission, but as you have over 8 hours to complete it, it can be finished with plenty of time to spare. If your looking to really shake things up in the apartment, you can apply the furniture to just about any surface including the ceiling. 

Planted ceiling with Lava Lamps

You can also buy furniture at Uncle Bazzit's in Meetmedere. Be careful not to over fill your apartment with stuff. 
The Living Room

One of many paintings bought in Borealis.

A dark corner of the Living Room.

Martial Artist's Meditation Room

Jilnas meditating while sitting in a couch.

The glowing sculpture in the Meditation Room.

The regular apartments on RK can hold up to 30 items, after which any new item placed will disappear. The Luxury Jobe apartments can hold 100. Apparently in the old days, The Luxury Jobe held 30 and the regular apartments on Jobe and Rubi-Ka could only hold 10 items. I know very few people care about the apartments in Anarchy Online, but I have found it quite a bit fun along with adding an extra dimension of immersion to the game. And who doesn't want a couple of bars to come home to?

Two Bars

Behind Two Bars