Art: a RoboTurtle and a Tragic Origin Story

So this weekend’s art sketch was a request by @fullthrottlesnd on twitter, who asked for a turtle. I thought for a long while about how I wanted to do a turtle, because I had a couple of different ideas. Ultimately, I was struck with the image of a transparent shell full of contraptions and gears – a robo turtle. So that’s what we went with:

Admittedly, the color choice at the moment came out more “bowser” than plain ol’ turtle, but I did enjoy the clock gears inside the shell as a visual trick.

Following that up, I spent part of my weekend dividing my twitter into two seperate accounts, you have @vrykeri0n or ‘That Hat’ which represents the IRL me and my twitter presence, and then there’s @vrykerion who is the ‘in character’ vtuber persona. To celebrate, I decided to do a little sketch of my vTuber persona’s “dark” and “tragic” backstory:

As I’m sure you could tell, the little rabbit really need some arm twisting to fall to the dark side. And because I mentioned it on twitter, I’ll share it here too. The ghost’s name is Jose. He’s there because… well, the moon is haunted. *shrug*

First Reactions to Final Fantasy XIV


So since my girlfriend and I spent this last weekend holed up in the house sick as can be, we decided to explore a new game.  The game in question as I’m sure you already figured out from the title was Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, the newish MMO addition to the Final Fantasy series.  It was on sale for $15 on Amazon, I was curious, and it came with a free month.  So we bought it to give it a try.  Before you even ask: No, I am still playing SWTOR and I am still working on the class reviews.  And yes, I am still playing Final Fantasy 13-2 and actually enjoying quite a bit, and I’ll be writing about some of that soon as well.

So 12 painful hours of downloading later, we finally got to play.  She made an Arcanist and I made a Marauder.  Kind of a tanking/healing duo.  Which works out nice as we can tackle a lot of content like the random world events ala Guild Wars 2 called FATEs (Which is an acronym for something I couldn’t be bothered to remember) that it would frustrating or painful to do solo.  I smack the thing, she keeps me alive, I keep the thing from killing her.  It’s the circle of MMO roles, Simba.  Don’t be a n00b.  Lionesses don’t dig n00bz.  Sorry! Tangent. Sick. As I said before.

Overall, the game seems fun.  We’re fairly early on it only getting to level 10 so we could unlock all the other classes.  See, in FF14, you don’t just play one class like you do in WoW or SWTOR.  Okay you do. But only for the first 10 levels.  Then you can unlock the other classes by visiting their trainers/guildmasters and taking a short quest.  Once you do, you can switch between the classes by switching to a different weapon (more Guild Wars 2 flashbacks with the whole ability sets being tied into weapon choice) and each class keeps its own level.  So I may be a Level 10 marauder, but only a level 1 Arcanist, and a level 5 cook! Because yes, even your professions are baked into the class system.  On one hand, this is pretty cool.  You can pretty much experience EVERYTHING you want with a single character.  Play any class you feel like.  Level all the professions!  On the other hand, it seems like doing that will be insanely grindy.  See your base class levels pretty quick at first because you are doing a lot of unique low level quests.  But those quests are gone once you do them.  That means you’ll eventually have classes to level and have nothing to do it with except for FATEs and grinding mobs. But hey, you don’t have to level the other classes right?  Well, sort of.  See on top of the classes, there are Jobs.  Jobs are kind of like Advanced Classes, or even more accurate a LOT like Prestige Classes in the sense that they have a requirement tied to them.  Like the Warrior job requires having Marauder leveled to 30, and the Gladiator class leveled to 15.  And jobs are like where it’s at.  You want the job.  The job is cool.  For uh… reasons.  I guess?  I assume the usual MMO rigamarole of more abilities, more power, more etc.  And you can unlock all of those too but that pretty much will mean you need to get every class to at least level 30 (out of 50).  Be prepared to kill a whole lot of lady bugs and rabbits.

However, the game is still fresh and fun and the grind has yet to set in, so I plan to fiddle around with it for this first month and see how it goes.  Maybe it will be added to Vry’s Regular MMO Arsenal of Killing Time.  There is one thing I am dreading but haven’t quite reached yet, which is apparently around level 15 in the main storyline (the main storyline being the thing that sets when certain in game capabilities like being able to make guilds, use airships, get mounts, etc are unlocked with) you have to do a series of dungeons to progress.  Oh.  Oh boy.  Um yea.  Forced grouping to advance.  Lovely.  I’m sure someone is rolling their eyes at that and saying “Oh forbid you interact with people in a MULTIPLAYER game” or some such.  But yea, I’m all cool with interacting with people.  When it’s my choice to do so.  It was bad enough in school whenever we had a group assignment and had to find a group of students to work with and no, doing the project by yourself is NOT an option, Lil’ Vry.  I’m not good in those situations.  Never have been.  So why play an MMO?  Because I like the idea of a living world that updates and changes as time goes on where as single player games remain static and unchanged year round unless you have massive modding support (I ❤ you, Bethesda) or are something like Animal Crossing but even that just repeats every year with nothing new being added (Oh, imagine Animal Crossing meets Skyrim.  Real time calender and time events in the game? How cool!)  Anyway, back on topic.  Yea.  Forced groups.  Not looking forward to it.  Especially since you need to do them to do things like…  use a mount.  And I know there’s a dungeon finder tool but the horror stories of 4-5 hour waits for each of these three consecutive forced dungeons does not exactly leave me hopeful.  Oh well. We’ll see I guess.

Finally, I suppose the Final Fantasy series has a uh… reputation for more…  er…  “Feminine” male figures than most game series out there.  I mean, you could play a game of what sex is this character with a great number of both main characters and random NPCs throughout the series since it went to CD format (And the earlier concept art for the NES/SNES games by Amano was the same way, don’t get me wrong. But that seldom got translated into the game sprites. If you even could.)  But can we please discuss the early armor quest reward I got for my Marauder?


That is not a tabard, chest piece or tunic.  That is a dress.  A pink dress, with pink gloves, and pink sneakers.  On my MARAUDER.  Normally I’d compliment the game on trying to buck gender stereotypes here, but honestly I can’t think of a situation where any gender would find this acceptable clothing for an axe wielding barbarian.  But I won’t deny that jokes of Pretty Pretty Barbarian Princess were uttered all night long at this ridiculous outfit I found myself wearing.  Oh, and those little pantaloons sticking out from beneath the “tabard”?  Those are his pants.  They are described as such in game.

Behold! The rare and exotic male upskirt shot!
Behold! The rare and exotic male upskirt shot!

On your first guess, would you say those were pants?  Or even shorts?!  I know that was the first thing that came to our mind.  Oh no.  And what about that poor kid I’m saving from the vicious giant crabs of doom?  Kid is scarred for ****ing LIFE.  Look at his face:


To be fair, if you just got saved from giant evil crabs of death-like doom or doom-like death (GECDLD for short) by someone wielding a giant axe and dressed like that of any gender or sexual orientation, wouldn’t you have that look on your face too?  Seriously, Square Enix.  WTF?

Irreconcilable Differences on Balmorra

So I’ve been playing Star Wars: The Old Republic again with my girlfriend lately.  Shooting up bad guys, leveling, having laughs, and saying extremely mean – and deserved – comments at Corso (She plays a Trooper, I play a Smuggler).  However, as we traversed the threshold that is Chapter 2, we came to a slight… problem.  See, at the start of the Smuggler storyline in chapter 2, you meet one Akaavi Spar:


She’s a bad ass Mandalorian Zabrak on a mission to avenge the death of her clan. Her early appearances are marked with events such as blowing up a small army of dudes, beating you getting into a highly fortified prison, then walking through a door with Imps beyond it, the door shutting only to open seconds later and for the Imps to be dead.  She is the very embodiment of Bad Ass and stands with other paragons of Bad Assitude like Spike Spiegal, Master Chief, The Road Runner, and Clint Eastwood.

This was my reaction to meeting Akaavi:


This was my girlfriend’s reaction to my reaction to meeting Akaavi:


And this is us working out our differences between her reaction and my reaction:


I’m sure it will all work out just fine. Right?

Behold! The Secret of Warlock POWAH!

“We can’t call it ‘The Warlock Manual’!  Think of the negative press! Think of the angry letters! Think of all the ticked off mages!”

“Well, how about we add some of that time travel stuff those dumb mages like, and call it ‘DoT training’ instead?”

“That’ll work. No book-burning angry protestor ever looks past the cover anyway.”

The Thing With the Sixes?

In case this is the only gaming/cartoon/WoW/SWTOR/I like cookies/rant blog you ever read (and we are very thankful for that. See! You even get the royal ‘We’ for it!) you may have not noticed this new fangled meme involving the number ‘six’ going around.  As far as I can tell it was originally started by Gnomeaggedon.  It goes something like this:

  • Go into your image folder
  • Open the sixth sub-folder and choose the sixth image.
  • Publish the image! (and a few words wouldn’t hurt, though I dare say I couln’t stop a blogger from adding a few words of their own).
  • Challenge six new bloggers.
  • Link to them.

Simple, yes?  I have no clue where the idea to use the number six came from.  Maybe someone is hoping that all these related posts will grow and become sentient becoming Six from Battlestar Galactica? Or my personal favorite six: Cybersix!  Ah who knows. Let’s just kick this thing off.  Let’s see here, ‘Go into your image folder’.  Well, dangit. Which one?  I have one for WoW screenshot and one for SWTOR screenshots. So I guess I’ll just post one from each? That can’t hurt, right?

From the WoW folder…

Well… uh… that’s pretty uninteresting. Isn’t it?  It’s just a pretty picture of Deepholm.  I took this picture to use as a wallpaper on my computer actually.  There’s just something about the textures for the environment in Deepholm that just made it look gorgeous.  I actually have quite a few pictures from down there, and it is hands down my favorite looking zone from Cataclysm.  I would routinely just fly loops around it while chatting with my guild, just for the great visuals the zone provides.  The story there wasn’t bad either.  It definitely served as a good follow-up to Hyjal in terms of ‘heroic deeds’.  First, you become the Herald of the Ancients (That would have been a nice title, Blizz.) and usher their return to the world to push back the forces of the Firelands, and then you descend into the Plane of Earth, to gather the various forces against the Twilight Cultists and rebuild the World Pillar.  If they had opened up the order you can do all the pieces in, it would have probably been my favorite zone of the expansion.

From the SWTOR folder…

This image is probably the first “odd” from SW:TOR that I stumbled upon.  If you can’t gather the subtext from the text box, essentially one of the customers is in on the hustle and their duping the other customer into buying the adrenals he’s trying to sell.  Honestly, what really sold me on this little scene (one of MANY you can find in the game if you just wait around for them) is that it’s never made explicitly clear that one of the customers is in on the scam, unless you have seen or heard about this kind of scam before.  Not that it’s exactly rare.  It’s been played out in dozens of films, TV shows, etc.  But I do like that it’s not explicit, it just makes it feel more… I dunno. Real?

Also, you may now point and laugh at my keybindings.  My secret-not-really-shameful-shame hast been revealed!

From my Pictures Folder…

Oh! Finally something that actually has sub-folders!  Now let’s see.  This photo is… oh.  Oh no.  Oh science, this is gonna be painful.

Yeeeaaa… this is gonna require A LOT of explanation I imagine. This is actually an old project from college.  It was supposed to be a “metaphorical self-portrait”.  Cheesy as that sounds, I had fun doing it.  Although now that I’m looking at it, I can’t really recall what I was going for with most of this.  I dunno the face card style figure with the happy & death faces is supposed to be a reference to me being bipolar.  The words in the background are…  barely readable. No clue.  I’m pretty sure most of this probably had a deep significance to me seven years ago, when I was back in college and still cared about things having a deep significance. (Film school & Shakespeare classes killed that. I don’t care about what deep metaphorical message Orson Welles was going for by putting the moon in the upper-right corner, or why Shakespeare used more p’s & g’s in one half of a sentence than the other.)  Still, in the end, I think it’s a pretty cool picture for messing around in Photoshop for a few hours.

Well, those are my images for this thing going around.  Now my task is tag some more to pass this crazy thing along.  I have no idea who has already been tagged or not, so I’m just gonna tag people who I haven’t seen post one of these things yet.  So pardon me for any redundancies! Regardless, these are some awesome people. Definitely check out their stuff!