Archive for February 20, 2010

More Awakening

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And the news from Bioware keeps on coming :)  Some of it is good, and some is not so exciting (for me at least)

They’ve released on their wiki site information about some of  the new Mage spells which do sounds pretty darn cool!  This is coupled with the announcement that one of the new specialization lines for mages is the Battlemage.  But one of my concerns from my previous post was confirmed in that many of the Battlemage spells (which were showed in the videos) can in fact create friendly fire incidents and as such careful positioning will be required.  Basically this line allows the mage to create a pulsating ring of various kinds of damage depending on the spell used.  Certainly some cool stuff, but will be a bit tricky.

The Friday update also released info on Sigrun, and there’s a blog from one of the lead writer’s going into more detail on her story. Not a whole lot of new information but nice to fill out the back-story of this character.  Also, I might have missed this somewhere else, but they talk about runes that can be added to weapons (I’m guessing a similar concept to how LOTRO does it for legendary items), which will be a nice way to further customize things.

And finally, the Awakening FAQ has been updated with information from Bioware’s new Community Facilitator.  This is the “bad news” I was referring to at the top of this post.  DLC items will not carry over into Awakenings, which means that content from an item perspective (one of the selling points) is a total waste.  I still appreciated the storylines but it does strike me as a bit odd they resorted to this decision.  However, at least the Warden’s Keep abilities will import, so that’s a good thing as I do like those :)  Oghren is confirmed to be the character joining us which does sadden me a bit but at least they do confirm there are cameos from the other characters that will follow the choices we made in Origins.  They also imply (or it might be a straight admission depending how you read it) that we’ll only hear from Alistair and Wynne, which is also disappointing, although I can understand the decision as those are potentially the only ones who stick around.

Some other information throughout the FAQ, but those were the main items I saw.

For the most part, some good things coming but I am a bit bummed about the character choice and follow through of the storylines with the rest of the companions.  We shall see as we get closer but things overall are looking good!

 

Tolkien Professor update

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I’ve mentioned his site before but I wanted to post a quick update as he’s roughly half-way through this semester’s course on Tolkien literature.  As a re-cap, Dr. Corey Olsen has been releasing many of his Tolkien lectures via mp3 and iTunes for a while now and this semester decided to record and post his entire class focused on Tolkien’s works!

I’ve been listening to most of it, although I have put off some of the lessons which cover material I have not read.  “Leaf by Niggle” and “Smith of Wootton Major” are the pieces I haven’t touched yet, and I’ve attempted the Silmarillion a couple of times but haven’t gotten that far in it.  The class is just about done the Silmarillion and will then be progressing through the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.  With 3 classes a week they cover a TON of material but it is really interesting to listen to the discussions from another perspective.  Each class is about 50ish minutes so nothing terribly long at all.  I find the discussion about the Silmarillion quite helpful as I’ve always struggled with that one and having someone talk me through it makes a huge difference.  I’m going to make another attempt and will probably re-listen to those classes as I go.  I’m very excited to dive into the upcoming material as not only have I just finished re-reading those books but that material is very fresh in my mind from LOTRO.

So if you are a fan of the lore, want to learn more, struggle with the books, are in the middle of re-reading them, or just can’t get enough of Tolkien :) I highly recommend the podcast!  Go check out the site or go straight to the syllabus for the on-going Tolkien class for all the download information.

In addition to the podcasts you can also find information on the Festival in the Shire which is a collection of authors, musicians, scholars, and artists celebrating the works of Tolkien over in the UK.  I doubt I’ll make it, but I know some of my readers are in that general area of the world so it would be worth checking out if you live near there or are planning a visit.

 
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