sonneillonv: (Default)
 Author's notes: Fanfic contains explicit BDSM.  Characters have negotiated kinks and consent, but TWs for sexual violence apply, and they are nowhere near as careful as they should be because they're Sith and don't really give a fuck.  NSFW.  Also, Riley speaks Galactic Standard and Kryos speaks Ryl.
Read more... )
sonneillonv: (Default)
Some more pics! Specifically of Dezi's constantly-evolving I R CERNUNNOS outfit, and of the fireworks festival cloak and steed.
Pics Under Cut )
sonneillonv: (Default)
It's been a while since I posted any LotRO pics, but I have been taking them, so here they are! I got some pretty fireworks pictures from the anniversary festival... nice graphics, though I'm not enjoying the quests.

Pictures of Characters, Gameplay, and FIREWORKS under the cut! )

So that's basically it!
sonneillonv: (fictional characters)
I recently started skirmishing with Dezi. Skirmishing, in LotRO, is kind of like a game of capture-the-flag, except your side only has a small handful of people and the other side has approximately a billion. It's decently fun though, and gives you a good chunk of experience, so it's a great way to level up especially if you're having trouble with the quests you've gotten for your level *COUGH*GARTHAGARWEN*COUGH*. You can also get some deeds, cash, and you get things called skirmish marks which you can trade in for gear, cosmetics, and upgrades for the soldier who's assigned to follow you around and watch your back.

After my first skirmish, I spent a lot of time clicking through all the traders looking at their stuff. I found some SUPER cool-looking helmets (I bought them purely for appearance because Dezi can craft himself better armor than the skirmish traders have. Wheee, metalsmithing!) and some awesome cosmetics. I've put together a new cold-weather outfit for Dezi and Wyn to share, pictured below. Also, today Dezi got his quest reward for helping the poor during WinterFest! I now have all the different winterquest outfit quest rewards, so there's some fancy combinations that can be made.

Pictures Under Cut )
sonneillonv: (Default)
I've posted this before, but I think it's worth watching again. This is largely in response to this bit of self-centered idiocy which Personal Failure has already sporked, but I have something to say about it too, and that is that community-sourcing WORKS.

According to these folks, Wikipedia doesn’t exist, and neither do the MILLIONS of online role-playing communities scattered across the internet. Because I want to make something very clear, as someone who has created and modded at least a dozen of those communities in the course of my life – it IS hard work and I do NOT get paid for it. Most of the time it’s an utterly thankless job. I am facilitating a creative storytelling outlet for anywhere from five to thirty people, which requires me not only to design and maintain the website, which is work in and of itself, but also to run interference between all types of personalities, maintain the rules, resolve disputes, and otherwise ensure that a whole lot of very creative, very outside-the-box people are able to work together in constructive ways. “Herding cats” doesn’t even come close to describing it.

It’s also my responsibility to come up with overarching plots, to guide the writers in following those plots, to handle every non-player character with whom interaction is necessary on top of my own characters (that’s a whole hell of a lot of writing, I’ve done less writing in college writing courses), and I have to read everything going on on the community in order to keep up with where each character is and what they are doing, and how this will affect the overall environment. I have to be available to answer questions and address issues pretty much every single hour that I’m home in order for this grand, complex machine to run smoothly. But I don’t get paid for this. I don’t particularly enjoy doing it either, as every time it happens I protest that I don’t want to moderate anymore, and will not moderate ever again, yet invariably it ends up happening again. Usually this is because people dump their communities in my lap when it gets too hard or their interests change to a different game/universe/fandom, and I don’t want to disappoint my friends, who still want to play, so I take up the flag and bravely soldier on.

I often question why I do this job without any reward, and the answer boils down to this: The job needs to get done. I have a community of people who need the behind-the-scenes work to be taken care of so they can make use of this creative outlet. This phenomenon is not unique – Absolute Write, a huge community for writers on the internet, is free and freely maintained. All the wikias ever, which have been so helpful and so on-the-ball collecting interviews, previews, little-known trivia, and screenshots, painstakingly inter-linking all relevant information so that someone like me can come into the Anita Blake fandom knowing absolutely nothing and from the Wiki learn pretty much everything, at least enough to run the community that has recently been dumped into her lap… they aren’t getting paid. Or what about the people who volunteer every day in soup kitchens, food pantries, for Habitat for Humanity, at animal shelters? They see a need and they go fill it. They’re not getting paid. Though being able to spend time with animals may be payment enough for some.

Community-sourced work is a real phenomenon. It’s really happening. It’s not a fluke. When people are supported and encouraged to do work that is fulfilling to them, work gets done. Of course very few people want to be janitors or sewage workers or road-kill collectors, but I suggest that there are plenty of people who WOULD do those jobs if the need was made clear to them, and they were given some kind of support and encouragement for doing so. I currently work at a bank. Salting our sidewalk is not my job – we have someone who plows our parking lot and lays down salt for us. But I go out and salt the sidewalk anyway, even though the salt stinks and it destroys the skin on my hands, because it’s something I can do to help keep our customers safe and because when I do it, my bosses support and encourage me just by noticing I did it and thanking me later. I contributed to a business entity in which we all have vested interest, so my work is appreciated, so I keep doing it. Simple. And the people who think it doesn't work, who propose models like the one proposed in the original article - those people are kind of repulsive to me, because this worldview indicates a breed of selfishness that I just can't really comprehend. Yes, I've worked with classmates who were lazy and checked out of things. Yes, I've resented having to carry the main burden for a group of people. But here's the thing - I resented it because I was forced to work with THAT GROUP OF PEOPLE and I was ALONE in wanting to excel. I think if, by contrast, a small group of us were able to work together to carry the class, and if together we could really work on great ideas, support each other, encourage each other, and appreciate each other's work, then I wouldn't care so much that other people were slacking as long as we were able to succeed. In other words, I don't mind doing all the work if you make the work a good, fulfilling experience.

Anyway, here's the video.

sonneillonv: (Kill with my gun)
It's a beautiful day in the Trollshaws. This view was captured by Dezi from the elven stronghold of Thorenhad.

Photobucket
sonneillonv: (Choose your weapon)
Dezi just earned Kindred status with the Eglain, which means he was eligible to buy a brand new horse! As Dezi loves getting new horses, especially the cool reputation horses, he was all over that, and while I was maneuvering to take a pic of his new baby, I figured I might as well post pics of some of the others. These are about half the horses Dezi owns - he also has a plain bay with no tack and three horses we got when we bought the Isengard expansion set. I didn't cap any of those, maybe another time.

Oh, and yes, we did bother naming these horses and detailing their personalities. Sue me, I have a brain that loves minutia.

Pics under cut )
sonneillonv: (Default)
So I'm guessing this was a tactic to keep people from checking out of the winter festivities early. I had already abandoned the winter festival and gone back to leveling my characters (got Dezi from lvl 33 halfway to lvl 35 and did a couple achievements with Wyn) when I found out from the LotR Cosmetics blogs I follow that the development team had introduced some new winter festival cosmetics with the last patch. The new cosmetics include a dress, two cloaks, a tunic+pants combo, and a horse! So now I've gone back to grinding the winter festival quests. I've purchased both cloaks and the dress (I don't like how the tunic+pants combos look on my characters but I think they'd look much better on a dwarf or hobbit) and Wyn managed to purchase the new horse. So without further ado, here are some pics of Wyn on her new horse, in her new winter outfit.

These pics do not cover all the winter cosmetics, just the outfit Wyn has on at the moment.

Cut for Consideration )

As a side note, the other day I was questing in Rivendell with Dezi and he completed a riddle contest with Bilbo Baggins. One of the rewards was basically a catboy hat, I shit you not. Straight out of an anime convention. Here's a picture of a hobbit wearing it. The other reward was a really good dagger, so he didn't choose the hat, but he was sorely tempted. I intend to get my hands on that hat, and when I do, I will post pics for you all to enjoy.
sonneillonv: Spock thinks you're speshul (Spock Special)
I've been doing a whole lot with screenshots lately. I don't have anything to do with the artistry inherent in the game - all credit for that goes to the developers and graphic designers. So when it comes to taking beautiful screenshots, as kittenmommy pointed out, composition is the big thing. Composition can be really a hit-or-miss sort of proposition, and oftentimes it's very trial and error. If you pay attention to the bottom right and left corners of the screen where I usually hide the chat box (I can't get rid of it or make it any smaller) you'll often see that this is the third or fourth screenshot I've taken, or that this is the third or fourth time I've had a character perform an emote so I could try to catch them at the absolute perfect moment.

That being said, I spent some time last night experimenting while Astrid was farming (actual farming is shoot-yourself-in-the-head boring, so I had to occupy myself somehow). Here is the evolution of the screenshots I took from start to finish so you can see where I started and where I ended up going. The premise is Astrid (Astridd in the game because 'Astrid' was taken, but 'Astrid' is her actual meta-name) standing in a field of lily-of-the-valley blossoms in the shire, seeding and harvesting with the stars spread out overhead. Screenshots Under Cut for Courtesy )

Welp, that's my study for today! Hope you found something pretty! Feel free to let me know in comments which were your favorites! Some will probably get sent in to Postcards From Middle-Earth.

Two More!

Jan. 8th, 2012 11:24 am
sonneillonv: (Default)
Photobucket
Dezi directs your attention as the sun rises on the Frostbluff

Photobucket
A typical cloudy day in Winterhome. Dezi climbed one of the ice sculptures to get this shot, and spent some time balancing on the head of a giant swan doing silly emotes at the party-goers below. While he was there some fireworks went off, but sadly we missed the chance to take a shot of them.

LotR Pics

Jan. 8th, 2012 10:53 am
sonneillonv: (Howl)
I've been taking some really pretty screenshots lately, toying with my UI and graphics settings. Since many of you probably aren't interested, pics under the cut ;)

Wyn and Dezi doing stuff )

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