Awesome ladies will be posted soon to finish up. I am so lazy, I have it written up and have for forever, but actually putting in the pics is apparently beyond me? That's just sad.
I'm mostly caught up on TeeVee (I think I have a White Collar, and I managed to miss last week's Vampire Diaries when it aired, so I have to download that.) I gave up on Supernatural. We got all out of order on the DVR anyway, so I'll just wait and watch when it hits DVD. Maybe. I'm one ep behind on Fringe, and umm. . . . I forget what else.
I've actually not been as TV oriented as usual lately, because my fannish interests have been elsewhere. I've been into my RP games, which are fabulous, and playing video games when I'm not RPing/doing work type stuff.
Mostly, I've been playing Dragon Age: Origins. I do love big, sprawling RPG's. I also love games I can cheat in. Heh. I know that in some circles that makes me a bad gamer, but when I'm playing a single-player campaign, I'm playing for the story and the world and characters, not to frustrate myself by dying constantly on the same boss. I just find that frustrating. So when I'm playing noncooperative games for my own enjoyment, cheat codes are my friend. There's a reason I rarely make it all the way through Kingdom Hearts or FF games - I can't cheat. So after trying to kill that boss twenty times, I give up.
Bioware was the first game company I really knew enough to like. I played Neverwinter Nights as a single player game, and loved it, and then got pretty heavily involved with the online aspect. Pretty much all of my D&D knowledge comes from learning how to run/play in games through NWN. I played in long-term roleplay campaigns, and still consider those to be some of my favorite RP memories. I DM'd for persistent worlds and ran a few campaigns, and was pretty well known in the RP community, for a while. That's also where I learned a lot of the mechanics of character-building/stat weighting/etc. (Something I still am HORRIBLE at.) Though usually I played characters with RP builds anyway, not optimal ones. (RP build meaning characters that pick talents and points based on what makes sense for their history/personality, not what will make them most Uber.)
I also played NWN II, though I never got into the online aspect of it, and Knights of the Old Republic. KotOR is probably my favorite game to this day. (I'm eagerly awaiting the MMO.) The sequel wasn't a bioware game, and wasn't as good, but I still really enjoyed it. I've always liked the Star Wars universe in a vague "I liked the original movies" way, but the set up of the games was a lot more fascinating to me, and made me crave knowing more about it, or playing in it more widely, or RPing in it, though I never braved the Star Wars universe beyond it, still.
So I pretty much always WANTED to play Dragon Age, I just was never on my desktop, and it was too outdated to run it anyway. I could have gotten it for my laptop/Mac, but buying the game for the mac version seemed like a waste to me, because it didn't have any of the optional add ons available, and was just less supported. So I put it off until I moved my desktop back, and got a new video card for it to play. (Note that I didn't realize the desktop COULDN'T run the game, I just thought it was on the low end for it, so I got the game first, tried to install, and oops, no. So I had to wait for a video card.)
The way I play games has changed a lot since when I was playing NWN. Stuff that wouldn't have bugged me then would now. (Excessive cheesecaking/chainmail bikinis, etc.) I play WoW and FREQUENTLY have difficulty not being disgusted by the incredible sexism of the community at large, and the game's design, but still play. I probably wouldn't have noticed things like that when I was younger, but I do now, and I don't mind that I do, even if it hampers my enjoyment. I like being aware and learning new things and feel like it's a natural evolution for me to notice things in my geeky environment that are headdesk worthy. I've said it before, but I LIKE fandom discussions of feminism/sexism/racism/etc. It's sad that they have to exist, of course, but I feel like I learn a lot from them, and come away a better, more aware person, even when it leads to uncomfortable realizations about some ingrained tendencies of my own.
So Dragon Age won points with me right off in a few areas. For one thing, the armor sets are usually fairly identical on male or female PC's. No inexplicable midriff-baring on the girls. That alone is awesome. There's also same-sex romance options for both genders, and a bunch of different origin stories. I love the cast of companions/side characters, and the sheer scope of the game is MASSIVE. It's easy to learn the basics and while I find the main storyline a bit meh/predictable, the side quests and companion quests are FABULOUS. I'll find conversation trigger points in areas and spend time running over them just to make my companions trigger a conversation and start snarking at each other.
But there are things that bug me, too. For one thing, there are two kinds of evil demon type things I've seen so far - horrible, deformed creatures (which make up most of them. There are a variety of models/types, but they're all that basic horrific type), and then the more boss-type. Which has so far been a sexy demoness with no clothes who rubs her own boobs as she talks to you. It's SUPER annoying and makes no damn sense at all, in at least one of the encounters. I get that they're trying to portray that she/it is SEDUCTIVE, but it's cliche, overused, and downright obnoxious. It reminds me of the DEEPLY galling succubus warlock demon, in World of Warcraft. (Note that one of my WoW characters is a warlock, and when I write RP logs for him, I ignore the constant ass-smacking and seducing of the succubus and write her as a very nagging, overbearing, innocuously evil mothering type character. Just for lolz, so I don't get annoyed by the succubus thing.)
The other Dragon Age thing that bugs me is origin stories. I love the detail of them, and the storytelling. I am a dork who has played through pretty much all of the origin stories, and loved them. HOWEVER, in every one that has pre-set family, the family you interact with (who are your sister, your cousin, your brothers, your parents, etc). . . are all white/light skinned. Every one. So while the character creator does let you make a character with darker skin, or less caucasian features, you then have to make up some kind of backstory in your head to allow for them looking NOTHING like your in game family. So always adopted, or the milkman's son/daughter or something. Which wouldn't bother me if it wasn't the case for EVERY origin story. (It's possible I missed one, but off hand, the City Elf, Dwarven Noble, Dwarven Commoner, and Human Noble stories ALL have family as a major component, and it's true for them. The Magi story and the Dalish elves don't have family set that I saw. The Dalish is a clan, and I think some might be cousins, but the close family aren't there.)
There's also a lot of rape implied in places. The City Elf start, the Dwarven Commoner start (the female dwarf commoner also gets told very frequently that she's only really worthwhile for what's between her legs, which made me wonder how those conversations went with a dwarf male, but I didn't try yet.) I don't have rape triggers, but I'd imagine the CIty Elf start at least could be triggering, for those who do. I know I was really uncomfortable with it, especially since it was more or less dismissed. And it can't really be avoided at all.
And on a less serious note - I am NOT spider phobic, but they have GIANT FUCKING HISSING/SQUEALING SPIDERS THAT DROP FROM THE CEILING TO EAT YOUR HEAD! It freaks me out EVERY TIME they do that.
So yeah, there's a few things I disliked. I ended up using a male Dalish elf for my playthrough character, and am having a blast though, plodding slowly through. I love Morrigan's bitchy snark, and Shale is made of love. (She is so CRABBY.) And Alistair is goofy-cute. I like the freedom of the game - you can pretty much go anywhere at any time, which was something I liked about KotOR too - the set of events/places to adventure was pretty player dependent.
Bioware did a good job making the side characters interesting. I'm genuinely excited to see where they go/what they do. There are characters in most of the origin stories I wonder about/got attached to. There's a LOT of things that make me laugh - whether just clever dialogue bits, or little in-jokes that sneak through. The actual dialogue CHOICES however, sometimes feel a little too limited. (There's usually a straight/non snarky response, a snarky response, and and evil response, but which you pick doesn't always seem to have as much impact as what it did in KotOR to me. And it's a little limited in terms of playing in-character. Most of the time, when I play through the first time, I play a "good" character and don't play IC so much as pick what I think will show me more of the game. On subsequent play throughs, I play IC and do the "Evil" response, or the "douchebag" response or whatever. I feel like when I play through again, doing that isn't going to alter a lot of the events, other than some companion responses/relationships.)
In WoW, I rarely think about what my character would do AS I PLAY, because I'm playing the game and thinking about mechanics and finishing quests and such. I've never been able to get into the RP aspect of WoW, save for writing the characters in RP logs outside of the actual game client. But in games like Dragon Age, there's more intersect, and I love the scope of the game to do things differently, but would like a little more variety in the character types and responses, so far.
It is, however, the first game in a long time that I have fannish inclinations for. I'm not going to go hunting for fic or anything until I'm done, but I kind of REALLY WANT a whacky Bioware game crossover fic where HK-47 and Shale sit around complaining about flesh, disgusting, liquid-filled meatbags.
For extra crossover fun, Toph from A: tLA could come and metal/earthbend around them and freak them out.
My brain, it is a weird place. But it does like the world, and kind of want to RP in it.
Playing Dragon Age makes me REALLY want a similarly sprawling, epic, fun, complex Urban Fantasy game though. Something with a set up like Gaimain's Neverwhere, with the market hub and angels and fairies and weirdness, lacing in and out of the undergrounds of big cities and dimensional portals with magic and steam punk and awesome, with lots of awesome female characters and characters of color and queer characters and asexual characters and non human characters and tons of customization options. And another non-fleshy character to want to squish things with Shale and HK. Someone make that, so I can play it.
So yeah, yay video games! Dragon Age II's demo dropped, but it is a ginormous file, so I will probably never be able to download it. Heh. I'll have to wait until release. I'm not even halfway through Origins though, so probably no reason to rush anyway.
Today is RP tagging, chores, editing, and hoping this damn lingering case of cold/sick/blech goes away before it turns into real sickness.
This entry was originally posted at dreamwidth, and has comments.