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Showing posts from 2017

John Wick

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I have many thoughts So, John Wick Chapter 2 was FINALLY released in Australia, only a week ago, only 3 months later than the US and I went to see it.

The first John Wick movie is a masterpiece. It is ultra-violent, but the violence is focused and always serves a purpose; it's part of the storytelling and is not simply there to add "bang" to the movie.

Just as important to the movie are the silences in-between. The first action sequence where John Wick reveals himself as "The Boogeyman" doesn't take place until 25 minutes in and the second sequence doesn't happen until 50 minutes in and those silences are used to develop John Wick as a character and the world he exists in.  Without these silences, the movie would be a lesser creation.

The second John Wick movie doesn't have those silences.

The first violent sequence starts immediately, but the entire sequence is simply a nod to the events of the first movie. "Look," it shouts, "every…

Morrowind!

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Pre-Launch Streaming! WOOO!!! So excited!!

Thank you ZoS for giving me the chance to stream (on YouTube) and publish Morrowind so I can show everyone what there is to explore and discover (as well as all the new housing and furnishings!). Come and join me!

Stream 1: 1-3pm Saturday, Sydney Time (Convert)
Stream 2: 1-3pm Sunday, Sydney Time (Convert)
Stream 3: 10-2pm Monday, Sydney Time (Convert)

(All times are approximate, and of course, subject to that other MMO I play called Real Life.)

You can explore Morrowind as well - Pre-Order here -> http://www.elderscrollsonline.com/en-gb/preorder
Today's Video

Reading

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Must have my Star Wars fix I've known about Chuck Wendig's Star Wars series, Aftermath, for a while (since they were announced) but hadn't managed to get hold of them until now. I've finally gotten hold of the first book from my local library, and hooley-dooley it's good. I'm seriously considering buying my own copy, just to have.
Written in the present tense, it's a book that races along, dragging you from scene to scene, making you think in images that could be projected up onto a big screen (one day perhaps?).
Aftermath is MUCH stronger than other recent Star Wars books I've read. I suspect having the freedom to write about minor characters who are not involved with global politics makes for a much better writing and reading experience. I'm glad I didn't spend money on Bloodline or Catalyst.
The first book, Aftermath, is set almost immediately after The Return of the Jedi and in part is the story of Rebel Pilot Norra Wexley who is returning ho…

Happy Birthday ESO!

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It's been a fantastic three years
I joined the Beta of ESO in February of 2014 and here I am, three years later, for the third anniversary of Elder Scrolls Online, and it's been a FANTASTIC ride!
I have been a massive Elder Scrolls fan since Morrowind (the peak of my gaming experience) and then very much enjoyed Oblivion and Skyrim (with 550+ hours... >_<  o.O) so I was sold on ESO before I even knew if it would be good, but it was! It was really good! And I was hooked.
I participated a bit on the forums (and I still do occasionally) and meet with a group of other Oceanic Timezone people and formed a guild with them.  The guild still exists, though more as a way to keep in touch with the few people who still play, but one of those people I would consider a friend, and I even catch up with him in real life occasionally! *waves* Hello Manic! ^_^
I took my time as worked my way through the content on my one main character (and the thought of leveling another character stil…

It's OK

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Don't feel guilty for enjoying life So, yeah, things are PRETTY interesting, globally speaking, at the moment, aren't they. And here I am, putting a whole lot of time and effort into playing games, making videos about games, and writing about games.
And I'm OK with that.
Be part of your world. Be aware. Know what's going on around you. Stand up for your causes. Look after the people around you and your world. #Resist
And then take a moment and look after yourself.
Life, living, sometimes it takes a lot, it empties you out. So, do the things that fill you back up again. Do the things that bring you joy, that you look forward to, that make you smile. And then keep doing them.
Take a selfie!
Do the hard stuff too. But remember, it's OK to have fun. Today's Video

Trading Furniture

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But I can't find what I'm looking for! So, you're bought a lovely house and you're looking for juuuust the right bit to fill it. If you're on a console, you'll have to search and search through the guild stores looking for that perfect recipe or furnishing, but if you're on PC, you're in luck!
Check out the Tamriel Trade Centre website and search for exactly what you're looking for!
I've used this multiple times to find exactly the pattern I'm looking for, and it's sort-able by time last seen or price, which is particularly helpful.
And it's not just for furniture of course; you can search for any items that can be found in a guild store.
You can help out by installing the companion mod which will upload what it sees in a guild store to the database. Today's Video

Tourists

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You can always tell I regularly walk through The Rocks and Circular Quay in Sydney, both tourist hubs of the city, and honestly, you can ALWAYS tell who is a tourist.
Sometimes it's obvious (those who take hiking sticks with them to walk those slippery and dangerous paved streets of Sydney XD ) and sometimes it's less so, but the absolute give-away are two people, walking together (mostly in sensible shoes, but not always) VERY, VERY slowly.
My aim is to get to the train station as fast as possible, so the speed difference is always very obvious. So, if you want to blend in, walk fast. XD
On the other hand, I imagine most of them have jus t spent a long day, probably walking everywhere, so I guess I could cut them some slack. ^_^ Today's Video

Thinking words

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Does this happen to anyone else? Sometimes, I'm so tired the words stop. For a moment, there are none, and then I start to think about how there are no words, and then I start seeing them, chasing across the inside of my head.
Yes, I think in words, actual, literal words.
If I close my eyes, and think of a "tree" I'll see one, but I'll also see it neatly labeled as "tree" underneath. And, as I think, the words will come scrolling across my brain like closed captions under every image I see (if I see an image at all).
Memory is also linked to words for me.
If I want to remember something (like in those long-ago-days when I was studying) I would write it down. I took (and still take) copious amounts of notes, even if I never look at those notes again. It's the act of writing, of words, of taking an experience and transforming it into letter shapes, that means it stays in my head.
If it has no words, I'm probably not going to remember it. This is …

Tea

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Not just coffee I love my tea as much as I love my coffee ^_^ of course. I currently have about 20 types of tea: black, green and herbal. I like my tea with flavourings, much as I like my coffee with flavour (caramel specifically), but I do drink my tea without milk or sugar, and very weak.
Mostly I drink teabags, but I put them in a teapot so I can control the strength of the tea, though I do have a number of flavours of loose-leaf tea as well. The teapot in the picture is from the Maxwell Williams Cashmere range, but sadly, this particular teapot is no longer available (though the cups are still there).
My favourite teas at the moment are Dilmah Exceptional with Rose and Vanilla, Madame Flavour's Earl Grey, Tetley's Decaf Green Tea with Pomegranate, Governor's Estate Peach (with lemongrass and aniseed), and Twinings with Camomile and Spearmint. What I drink depends on a combination of my mood and my tiredness level! ^_^
I'm not even sure if these teas are available …

Coffee

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I need it Coffee, ah, that sweet, sweet caffeine hit.
Coffee is a big thing in Australia, and it's fancy. We all drink espresso coffee (mostly) and it's all good here. Even McDonald's started the McCafe in Australia to cater to our growing coffee demands (and it's mostly pretty good).
Starbucks, a massive institution in the US, didn't make a dent here in Australia when it arrived; the coffee you could get across the road from the little cafe there was already better than anything Starbucks could make. I think there might be one Starbucks left in Sydney? I think it's there specifically to cater to tourists who want something familiar.
I drink my coffee one of two ways; either as a skinny latte with caramel syrup from a cafe, or as a Turkish coffee made by me. I don't drink instant, I just can't anymore.
So, Turkish coffee is pretty easy to make; you just need a very fine ground of coffee (Turkish/Lebanese/Greek grind preferably though you can make a si…

Sleek Creek

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Finally It's been nearly 2 months since Homestead launched (is that right?) and I finally have Sleek Creek decorated to my (almost) satisfaction and it's turned into a comfortable home.
I picked Sleek Creek specifically for the water it has running through the property; it's the only affordable house with that luxury. The other thing that makes it great for a first house are the large garden areas, and the small inside areas.
It's REMARKABLY hard to accumulate furniture by either farming or buying off other players. This is meant to be end-game content, so it should take a while, it's just I want it NOW (and I don't want to pay crowns to get there). So picking a small house was the trick to getting it feel "full" and "finished".
When judging the Pact Militia Housing Competition something that was clear was people just didn't have enough "stuff" to fill their houses. Picking a small house with a big garden makes this easier. Es…

Meet Sarah

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Yes, that's Sarah-with-a-H Meet Sarah Ryder. She's Awesome.
I'm very happy with the way she looks and the process to customise is pretty easy.
I'm a bit disappointed that eyebrows are NOT customisable at all. Even Dragon Age: Inquisition, another BioWare Game, using the Frostbite from THREE years ago has selectable eyebrows (if not customisable ones).
However, the darker skin tones are VERY good, and the facial customisation is acceptable (it's no ESO or Skyrim... ^_^ ).
And I LOVE the tattoo options, and I hope that there are more options during the game. (Is that a thing? I don't know if that's a thing, but I HOPE that's a thing.) Referenceshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frostbite_(game_engine) Today's Video

Best Garden

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Pact Militia Housing Competition Of COURSE I was going to run a housing competition. With two other Pact Militia officers (thanks Asha and Irileth) we toured about 20 homes to find the best decorated residences. Categories were finalised as Best Garden, Best Outdoor Creative, Best Interior, and Best Overall.
With permission, please enjoy the Best Garden below. Thanks Mithrys for letting me look around your Goronir Estate! ^_^ Today's Video

Get ME:A early

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How to, even if you're in Australia YOU CAN DO IT TO! And you can get it right now!
Sign up for an EA accountSign up or Origin Access for PC (AU$7/month and 10% discount on all Origin/EA games) or EA Access for XBox/PS4 (you can cancel after a month if you like)Download the Origin Client for PC (I don't know how it works on the consoles, sorry! :P )Click on the Origin Access the First Play trialsClick on Mass Effect. Click on the version you have pre-ordered (if you have pre-ordered) to see the Download LinkAccept the agreementsWait for 43GB to download (but the game is playable at 42%)
HOWEVER if you can get access to another person's computer, who already has the game, you can copy the files off the other person's computer. Here's how.
Follow the steps above and wait until the download has at least reached 200MB or so (enough time to have created the directory structure and any registry settings)PAUSE the download (don't stop it) Copy the entire game download …

Proof of Location

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Yes, I really live here Once upon a time (about a year ago) my company had an office with a view, the most AMAZING view.  I would get in to work early, drop off my things, and then go and look through the glass to see what I could see.

This is definitely one of my favourite photos, out over the Harbour Bridge, before the sun has fully risen, with the lights of the cars, looking north out over the city.


I miss this view ;_; (we moved offices, but I will probably still post some of the old photos).
Today's Video

All the Pots

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I love pots, and I'm not even kidding I have a thing for them, elegant pots, and I use them to decorate my own in-real-life home. I also have a thing for vases, usually pottery, or turned wood.

I have 20 or so pieces, ranging from 50c at the second-hand stall for a nice looking dark brown glazed vase, mass-produced but elegant, to the pot on the right, which is ACTUAL art, bought in Australia's Red Centre, at a gallery in Alice Springs, many years ago.

Many, MANY years ago.

But it is, indeed, a prized possession, and I love it dearly, and I exhibit it proudly.

Today's Video

Reading

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Of course I read science fiction You should not be surprised ^_^. I've always read scifi/fantasy books, pretty much since I could read by myself.

Right now I'm re-reading the Ancillary series by Ann Leckie. The first book is called Ancillary Justice and it won the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Awards, which is pretty damn impressive! It's also a fantastically interesting book, with a super interesting main character.

One thing I'm finding, as I'm reading through for the second time, is that it struck me very hard that the main character Breq isn't human. She* looks human, talks as a human, and I fall into the trap of thinking of her as a human, but she's actually a fragment of a spaceship AI, resident in a human body, replacing it's consciousness: an Ancillary. And being an Ancillary is what is driving her choices.

Often, these choices align with the humans around her, but sometimes, she does things that might be incomprehensible (if you were actu…

The Witness

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Am I doing this wrong? Look, I've played point-and-click adventure games since my Commodore-64. Yes, really. I am old. Labyrinth by Lucas Art Games was my first real passion. When I finally finished it, I made myself my own certificate and printed it out on our dot-matrix printer.

I played Myst and Riven, and the others, and you can find a full "Let's Play Obduction" by Cyan Games on my channel (and it's ABSOLUTELY worth playing).

But this game... this game... it really has stumped. Is my brain thinking about this the wrong way? What am I missing here?
Today's Video

Explorers Wanted

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Take me away So, soon. Mass Effect: Andromeda.

And it's somewhere I want to go very, very badly. And it is massively NOT FAIR that the Australian release date is 2 days after the US.

But, maybe there are options...

OK, if I sign up for Origin Access, ($7/month for one month) and then buy the game through Origin ($99AUD) I could play from the March 16 (probably March 17 once time-zones come into effect). Is it worth the extra $$$, or can I get the same early access if I pre-order from a local-ish game store?

I DON'T KNOW!!!!
ReferencesAre you ready for Mass Effect Andromeda?Mass Effect Andromeda from The Gamesmen Today's Video

Farming for Furnishings

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Coldharbour - that is all As you can see from the video below, this was a VERY good run through Coldharbour, but I've had better. I've now picked up about 5 purple furnishing recipes from there and it's worth taking your time and looking in EVERY container.

I've also had some luck with lower-level provisioning recipes dropping from here, including a purple recipe I didn't know. Learning as many purple and yellow provisioning recipes as possible is VERY important to improve your chance of getting a Provisioning Master Writ (and improves the chance you know how to actually make the item to complete it)
Tips Coldharbor
Go around Coldharbour as often as you canOpen every wardrobe, trunk, dresser, cabinet (best drop chance), crate, barrel, basket, and sack (lower drop chance)If you have ESO+ save EVERYTHING. If you don't have ESO+ save all style materials, decorative wax and flourWeapons and armour found in containers (unless green) have a tiny chance to give you m…

PvP with Pact Militia

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Hmm, I suppose this could be confusing I was re-watching the video below, and I'm realising that we're using a LOT of jargon. You kind of have to in this situation, where a group of 24 people are trying to react quickly to a situation, and trying to wind, but it DOES make it confusing for someone who is not used to it.

So, for the convenience of those who haven't thrown themselves into the exciting world of PvP, a glossary.
GlossaryPvP - Player vs Player, as opposed to Player vs Environment (the pre-programed characters and monsters in the rest of the game)Ult - Ultimate - a very powerful ability or spell that can turn the tide of a battle if used and timed correctly. Ulimates require normal combat to 'charge up' so they're not always availableBarrier - You'll hear me calling out that I have "Barrier" ready; that's the Ultimate I was using at the timeVE - Vehemence - the guild we're fighting in this video with the blue (DC) shields above …

The Witness

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Slowly Slowly I was playing The Witness before the Homestead DLC for Elder Scrolls Online dropped, and then, well, I kind of had other videos to upload. This video was uploaded MONTHS ago, but it's only just making it to the published stage now.

I am very much enjoying this game, but finding it SUPER frustrating at the same time. It's no fun when you JUST can't make that connection...
Today's Video

Welcome!

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Helllooooo, it's Icy! So, do I need a blog. No, I don't need a blog. Why am I doing a blog? Because I can't help myself. I've resisted starting ANOTHER blog since I've been uploading to YouTube regularly. But hey. It's time. ^_^

Here, you will find more insights into the videos I've posted, as well as other bits and pieces about the games I play, and have played, and just perhaps, a little about me.

So, welcome. ^_^

Today's Video