Monday, 31 March 2014

The Elder Scrolls Online Imperial Edition and Early Access

After my first beta session back in January I immediately pre-ordered the Imperial edition of the game, and today it arrived. The box was huge xD But the contents are just so awesome :3

Opening the box the first thing I see is the figure of Molag Bal, along with the metal case containing the discs as well as some codes for exclusive content and a map of Tamriel.

The map is huge and puts my old map from The Elder Scrolls Anthology to shame. Though my old map includes country borders and cities.

Below the first layer of Molag Bal and the discs was the book. Omg, the book. Leather bound and full of concept art from every single region of Tamriel. Pictures depicting both landscapes, armour, weaponry, architecture, creatures, mer, men and best men, along with some nice snippets of lore. I'm in love with this book.

On top of the Christmas-y feeling from the box, Early Access started yesterday and since I pre-ordered I got the codes for Early Access and signed up for it as soon as I could. This time I've abandoned the Ebonheart Pact, which was the only one I played during beta sessions. Along with Ebonheart I've abandoned the familiar landscapes of Skyrim and Morrowind. Now I belong to the Aldmeri Dominion and I love the scenery of the Summerset Isles. Though I do have mixed feelings belonging to the Dominion seeing as they are the horrid Thalmor in Skyrim that outlawed the worshipping of Talos with their White-Gold Concordat :/ There will always be Nine Divines.

Now there'll be food and then there'll be gaming.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Oz is following me

So last week I started reading the book The Wizard of Oz. I have never seen the movie or Sound of Music, so I thought it was finally time to see why the story had lasted over 100 years. I also learned that there are 14 books about Oz, but it was only the first one that was made into a movie and a musical. The book I have is actually a collection of three of the books of Oz: The Wizard of Oz, The Emerald City of Oz, and Glinda of Oz. Since I had a total of 8 hours on trains to look forward to the past weekend I decided that I'd make that book my train entertainment.

The Oz-books were great. It was obvious that they were written for children, but they were really well made. It was also obvious that Baum took a lot of inspiration from Alice in Wonderland. There are only two things that bother me. In the first book, The Wizard of Oz, the Tin Woodman wants a heart so that he can remember how to love the girl he used to love before he was made of tin. But when he gets his heart he doesn't go back to the girl (he also assumes that the girl is still waiting for him), but instead he becomes the Emperor of the Winkies and builds a castle in the West. Dafuq? The other thing is that in the second book, The Emerald City of Oz, Dorothy is travelling around Oz and meeting a lot of interesting people. One of them are the Cuttenclip people. They are all paper dolls. One of the people in Dororthy's company asks what the paper doll people does when it's raining and they answer that the witch Glinda the Good cast a spell so that it doesn't rain in their country. Two paragraphs later Baum claims that it's always nice weather in Oz. So how would anyone in Oz know what rain is?

While I was reading the book I started to feel followed by Oz. About halfway through the book this picture shows up on my Facebook wall:

And Once Upon a Time started again only recently and they introduced who? The Wicked Witch of the West and Flying Monkeys. I'm prepared to see a lot more from Oz in the coming episodes of Once Upon a Time. Looking through the promotional pictures on Once Upon a Time's Facebook page there'll be a whole lot of Oz elements coming round soon.

Oz is following me around. But I don't think I mind. It's kind of like being followed around by Wonderland - totally awesome.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Recent readings

I decided to actually deal with my backload of unread books this year and I'm off to a good start.

In January I finished Lord of Souls by Greg Keyes. It's the sequel to The Infernal City. Both of them are books set in the Elder Scrolls universe, and I had a lot of fun reading them!

Then I read my first Swedish book in years. Read all about that here.

Now in March I've been on a roll this far. I read the fourth volume of Sandman and now I can't wait to get my hands on the fifth.

I also read the first book in The Undertaken Trilogy called Death Watch. I'm not sure how I feel about that one. It was painfully obvious that it was the prelude of a series and most of the time it felt slow. But at times I loved it and the excitement was on top! I'm still not sure whether I should get the second book of the trilogy or not. There's a risk the second book, Mistle Child, also will be a prelude to what happens in the third book, and also will be mostly slow. The third book isn't even available at the Sci-Fi bookstore and it was released last year :/ So if the second book also is a prelude then I won't be able to buy the third book easily to get the conclusion. But I have time to think about that. The first book did offer a sort of sense of completion in the end, so I can wait.

Yesterday I started and finished a Death Note novel. Death Note is an immensly popular manga that I read and loved years ago. I also bought that short novel years ago. It's only 200 pages so it didn't take me very long to finish it. Mostly I sat there aggravated that the main character was so painfully slow in realising things. I connected the dots way before she did and I just sat there reading and waiting for her to catch up. Not the best read I've had :P

Today I only just started with Steampunk Poe. It's a collection of the most popular Poe stories and poems accompanied by steampunk illustrations. I know steam technology hadn't even reached it's peak by the time Poe died, but I love Poe and I love steampunk. This book was just too good to pass up on. I've read a fair few of Poe's tales before, but I have no problem re-reading them. You can ask my Harry Potter books how I feel about re-reading ;)

All the while I was reading these books I was also reading short story after short story in Necronomicon. I'm not easily frightened, but reading At the Mountains of Madness was nerve-wrecking, to the point where I became paranoid and had to look over my shoulder after every paragraph to make sure there was no one there. I was listening to music while reading and the drums in the beginning of a new song made me jump. I also had trouble sleeping that night cause all I could think about was gooey monsters with tentacles yelling Tekeli-li. That was the first of his stories that actually affected me in a way I think horror is supposed to affect people. I bow to thee, Lovecraft. All due honour to you.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

The Elder Scrolls confessions

I was looking for something on Google (don't remember) and came across one of those confession images from tumblr. About Skyrim. I wondered if there were any for Oblivion, and there were. I wondered if there were any for Morrowind, and there actually were. So here goes a post about my own Elder Scrolls confessions, told to you through the images of others.




I'm too tired to play now, but I think maybe this coming week I'll play a lot of Morrowind.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Shock rock

I've talked a little about my love for morbid things before. Like Junko Mizuno, BioShock, horror, Lovecraft, Poe, and Phantom of the Opera amongst others. Truth is it all started back in early 2006, when I was 15. That's when I discovered Lordi. I've gotten a lot of negative comments for liking Lordi as much as I do, and people generally think I'm weird because of it. I'm a little ashamed to say that I discovered Lordi thanks to Eurovision, but let's face it: that was the best year of Eurovision ever! Thanks to Lordi I fell in love with shock rock. I love their modernised 80's hard rock sound. Thanks to Lordi I discovered Alice Cooper, Twisted Sister, Slipknot and Marilyn Manson. Lordi is also, along with Nightwish, the only band I've seen twice at arena gigs, no festivals, just arena concerts. And both of those times were some of the best concerts of my life.

Lordi's songs give me a cosy feeling inside. They make it easy to dream away and they awake my imagination like nothing else does.

Thanks to Lordi I discovered Alice Cooper, whom by now is one of my absolute favourite artists ever. The one time I saw him live was one of the best days of my life and I can't wait to see him live again this summer. His music ranges from weird to awesome. And it spans over 4 decades. 26 albums. Take your pick. I find it hilarious that my favourite artist had his biggest hit before I was even born. And those videos from the 70's are scary just cause I can't wrap my head around Alice in platform boots, tights and winged pants... (Check out The Black Widow or Cold Ethyl to see what I mean)

Last Man on Earth | Ghouls Gone Wild | What Baby Wants

I also discovered Twisted Sister, and I was overjoyed when I found that they had done a co-op with Cooper back in the 80's. I'm kind of tired of the songs by them that everyone knows, although I do love them too. Still I can't wait to see them live for the first time this summer!

Then there are of course the little more modern ones: Slipknot (Before I Forget) and Marilyn Manson (Tainted Love), Mudvayne (Happy?) and Rob Zombie (Dragula). I really like both of them, but not as much as Cooper and Lordi. Not even close, though Slipknot was amazing live. When I discovered Lordi I made lots of attempts to listen to "similar" artists such as Gwar. But I never really got to like them. In some ways certain Meat Loaf videos I love qualify for this as well. Like I'd Do Anything For Love. And W.A.S.P. (I Wanna Be Somebody) definately qualifies. I also like Kiss (I Was Made For Loving You), but I knew about them way before I discovered Lordi and they're alright.

I'm a shock rock person.

Monday, 3 March 2014

The Elder Scrolls Online Beta

So it finally happened. I've gotten completely and totally stuck on an MMO. Nerd points? I think so! This weekend was my third beta session for ESO, and I think it was the last before the game is released in April. This session we were also allowed to share our own screenshots and videos. Though they asked us to use hashtags. I don't use anything that uses hashtags (except maybe Facebook, but that doesn't count), but wth, from now on this whole post is #esobeta ;)

Since nothing went very well with my original character I decided to create a new one when I started the game again. Though I still chose the Ebonheart Pact so I have no idea whether you start somewhere else if you choose Aldmeri Dominion or Daggerfall Covenant. My favourites have always been Nords and Dark Elves. Though it would be cool to play something on the left side of the map, so if I don't get to keep my character after the beta I might go for Wood Elf or Imperial in the Aldmeri Dominion. Just so that I could maybe get to see Summerset Isles, Valenwood and Elsweyr. Skyrim and Morrowind are great, and I feel so nostalgic running around in Daedric ruins at Vvardenfell, but it would be awesome to discover something new.

So for my new character I chose a Nord warrior. My original character had been a Dark Elf rogue, but while I played my rogue gradually turned into a warrior, so I thought I might as well just create a warrior to begin with. This time I knew more about the game mechanics and everything went better. On Saturday I created my character and got up to level 10. On Sunday I got to level 15. But after that I started to run into some problems. Al the quests I had were either bugged or not completely part of the beta. Meaning I could start them but not complete them, cause after a while when I was going to change scene I got the message "You lack the required permissions to transfer here", meaning the continuation of the quest wasn't in the beta :/ That was alright, but when I had about 9 quests and 5 of them were outside of the beta and 4 of them were bugged I felt a little annoyed. Though one quest got fixed before the session ended so at least I could finish that one xD

Some screenshots:
1). Cadwell. Crazy dude in Coldharbor. I like my crazy dudes, even better that he's British! 2). Balreth. The first encountered boss fight. 3). Cool scene from the past. 4). Molag Bal attempts to bring Nirn and Oblivion together. 5). Sheogorath! :D 6). General landscape of Morrowind: Pretty fields, Molag Bal and volcanoes. 7). My character as she looked when I closed down the beta last night

I've always had a thing for Sheogorath. He seems to have lost some weight over the centuries. He's much thinner in Skyrim than he is in ESO.
There also seems to be some quests in ESO that involves going to Sheogorath's realm. And now I'm not talking about going to Cheesmonger's whatever to kill Gutsripper and reclaim the tomes. There seems to be something more after that. Because I could start a quest that was going to take me to Sheogorath's realm, but I couldn't continue it cause it wasn't part of the beta...

I'm really looking forward to April...