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September 20th, 2007

Sierra Standie, by Keovi
Sierra Standie, by Keovi

Steampunk is in imminent danger of becoming overexposed generally, but that doesn't take away from the fact that this is a cute lil' gal.

Sketchbook Madness, by Latinvixen
Sketchbook Madness, by LatinVixen

Why can't I draw like this? Why? WHYYYY??? *sobs*

It's not as if I don't try. :P

-The Gneech

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Well, as my schedule has opened up a bit, I finally went back and played some more Lord of the Rings Online this week. In an effort to find something a little more interesting than killing the same spiders in the Old Forest for 22 XP apiece because I wasn't high enough level to survive any of my current quests, I decided to just get on the King's Road and see if I get make it to Rivendell.

Short answer, no. I can get over the Last Bridge and a ways into the Trollshaws, and I suppose if I really booked it and got lucky, I might make it to Rivendell before being taken down by a level 40 giant mosquito -- but I didn't feel like pushing my luck.

(Level 40 mosquitoes. Oy. Like I said before, even good MMOs suck.)

However, my journey east did enable me to find another settlement, Ost Guruth, that had a bunch of new quests for me to take on, including meeting Radagast the Brown (always neat when a book character has a cameo -- so far I've met a Black Rider, Aragorn, Gandalf, Elladan, Elrohir, and Dwalin in the game, and Elrond, Thorin, Gimli, and Gloin in flashbacks). Since quests are where the real XP are, this enabled Galadhalion to gain a level (from 22 to 23) -- still not enough to beat my older quests tho, which is irritating. One in particular, called "The Broken Alliance" is a 16th level "fellowship quest," which means I'm supposed to be able to take it on with four or more other players at 16th. But I haven't been able to succeed it solo yet at 22nd or 23rd, and when I teamed up with another 21st level character and tried it, the two of us together also couldn't beat it.

The dumb thing about that is, we walk through everything except the big boss fight at the end stifling yawns -- we're so much higher level than the "mook" encounters that they don't even bother to turn aggro when they see us. But then at the end, we go down in about three rounds. 'tis nuts.

Anyway, I finished all of the quests I could easily finish. Now all that's left are mindless grinder quests, of the "kill 12 spiders, fetch 6 warg teeth" variety. When this is what I've got facing me, my enthusiasm for the game flags quickly. Truth to be told, killing 12 3rd-level spiders and reporting back to the NPC, and killing 12 24th-level spiders and reporting back to the NPC, are just not that different.

Actually, I could see this game being more fun if I had a friend along with me regularly to play it. But the idea of the both of us shelling out the money necessary for that makes me wince. It's not that much fun. If I couldn't find a regular tabletop gaming group, it would make a passable substitute. But only then.

-The Gneech

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