Writing for Funcurve.com

A few months ago, I was followed on Twitter by a website known as Funcurve.com. I visited their website out of curiosity and, seeing they were accepting applications for writers, decided to apply separately for Anime reviewer and Video Game Reviewer using samples from this blog. Chief editor Andrew Chang contacted me, and we set up a monthly writing schedule: Funcurve Bio for Erin. Video game reviews were the starting point, particularly those focused on MMORPGs.

However, I soon became involved in creating original content in the form of the Grand Tour articles, something I’ve been wanting to work on here at Mystikk Tales for a while. Unlike simply reading twenty pages of the wiki for a game, Grand Tours offer a more personal approach to main city hubs in various MMORPGs. In these articles, I attempt to examine the design, resources, and lore of the city as if I were actually there.

I’ll be creating a third type of article for the website which will tie into my live streaming channel at www.twitch.tv/romeomoon1 .

Video Game Reviews

Grand Tour Articles

Feel free to check out these articles and more at the website. I’ll try to post links to them here, as well.

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Furia and the Guardians 10 is now online!

Whether you play CoX or another game, this comic is proof you can bring your own storylines to life!

Battlerock Comics

Meet Fiona Poderes in “Furia and the Guardians” #10!

FatG-10
(Please click on the cover or this link to download the PDF file from MMO Comic Index.)

After all that’s happened in Paragon City this past year, it’s important for the heroes to get caught up on what they know about the attack by the super-powered villain named Destitution.

But they’re not the only ones getting updated on what happened and what they know. Lexie Lothora gets her own update on Destitution as she prepares for the next phase of her operation.

Plus, we finally get to look into the personal life of Furia Powers as she prepares for her first day at work as “Fiona Poderes”. How does this affect Jason Knight’s crusade against the abusive cops in Kings Row? Find out!

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Lounge L33ts Episode 18: The Last Man Standing (Wildstar)

Erin and Randy review their experiences in October with the newly gone free-to-play Sci-Fi MMORPG Wildstar from Carbine Studios and NCSOFT. Wildstar is a game that seeks to top the competition in every way possible. However, in the race to the top of the dog pile, has Wildstar lost something? while Randy enjoys the game and names it one of his top Sci-Fi MMORPGs, Erin feels frustrated by some of the gameplay.

Also check out the Grand Tour of Thayd at http://funcurve.com/ :
http://funcurve.com/gaming/wildstar-thayd-grand-tour/

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Lounge L33ts Episode 17: Highgate (Path of Exile)

We are in Path of Exile’s Highgate quest hub for Season 4 to discuss the changes made in The Awakening expansion. We also compare Grinding Gear Games’s PoE to other ARPGs such as the Diablo and Torchlight franchises. Zones, classes, story arcs, and the ever present skill map are also up for grabs.

Also read the Path of Exile review on funcurve.com :

 

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The Way to Kumas (Part 5)

V.

“Blast it! I’m blind! You bastard!” Jaxom groped against the wall for support, tears streaming down his cheeks. When he lifted his face, his eyes were glowing blue orbs. Ignoring him, Growgash instead focused on the priest and the wicked blade in his hand.

“Why?” she asked. “Why bring us so far, only to kill us all?”

The half mad man gritted back, “some doors have many locks that require many keys. This door was very difficult to open.”  It was then, Growgash noticed the raised dais behind him, and she started edging into the room over to Jaxom. As she knelt over the blinded man, she reached slowly down, grabbing a handful of dust and pebbles.

“What have you done to him?” An unearthly pale blue light streamed from beneath Jaxom’s eyelids.

“I gave him a gift. Now he may see… See the wonders of Kumas!” His blade was over the boy’s head when the gravel hit his face. He howled and began clawing at his eyes.

“You’ll know the gift of death, fool!” The half orc woman rushed him as the apprentice dodged out of the way. The older man recovered quickly. His dagger was short,  his form small and wiry. Yet he stood against all her blows as if he were made of the rock of the tomb itself.

Growgash felt the anger rise inside her. How dare such a weakling use magic against her! Tricks used by cowards like her mother and the other clan sorcerers. Illusions and dreams could not, should not, hold against things as true as wood, stone, and iron.

Her sword hammered down upon him, sending shivering sparks into the shadows. What thrusts did not land, he avoided with parry, feint, and counter. Thus they spun through the chamber. In a moment, Growgash saw Jaxom’s face and bloodied fingers, saw the boy apprentice crawling over the curving surface of a wall, saw the man in front of her raise his hand over his head. He was smiling, celebrating his imminent victory over her brutish strength.

A flash of pain through her shoulder forced her to lower her blade, although her grip remained sure. She could feel hot blood streaming from the wound inflicted by the dagger, and vaguely wondered if it had been poisoned as well. The air felt heavy around her when the walls of the tomb began to shudder. She saw the boy back away from a headless statue, now glowing with the blue light of the skull resting on its shoulders.

Glowing blue veins stretched down the length of the arms and slowly the thing flexed to life, raising itself up from a granite throne. It’s head, which resembled that of a great elk, turned to look at them all. Large blue eyes radiated with light and came to focus on the priest as it descended the short steps down to the fighters.

“You seek the path to Kumas? ” it rumbled to the man. Falling to his knees, the priest began stammering like an idiot. A clawed hand reached out, its long slender fingers wrapping around the man’s head. Blue mist surrounded them both and in a moment a blue humanoid form stood next to the creature. Where the priest once knelt, there was now a stone figure in the same pose. In a flash of cold light, the ghost of the priest was gone and its stone counterpart crumbled to a pile of dust. The half-orc woman stared in disbelief, sword at the ready, as the thing approached her.

“What evil is this?” she growled.

“He would have killed you and your companions all for naught,” it responded in a gentle, almost human voice. “One could spill an ocean of blood and the way would remain closed. He is a descendant of those who stole our power long ago. I have merely returned that power to its source. It is the only way to Kumas.”

“And what now demon?”

“I suppose I must return you from whence you came, orc. But these others,” it gestured to Jaxom and the boy, “are not to be left alone. I shall travel with them until we can find safe passage to my people. The boy must be further tutored in his abilities and the man will need to be taught how to live with his new gift. But I cannot go forth into your world looking like this.” With that, the light from the being suddenly went dull and the creature shrank to a small dark form. Before her now stood an old man, robed in simple cloth. “This form should be more suitable. And now, our paths diverge.” A shimmer appeared next to the old man and an oval window revealed the interior of the tavern Growgash had visited last. From his sleeve, he produced a small coin purse and tossed it to her. “A reward for your efforts and safe passage back to the inn. We may meet again, but for now, farewell my friend.”

She hesitated, briefly. Then sheathed her sword and stowed her payment. She would never be able to stand against this creature, if this was indeed a trick to separate her from the boy and Jaxom. In the end there was nothing she could do for them. The “door” before her could lead to oblivion, for all she knew. But the boy, looking sorrowful, nodded approvement as Jaxom whimpered in a corner somewhere.

Cautiously she stepped through… and into the inn. The walls stood firm, the warm glow of a hearth fire crept upstairs. The room she had occupied was to her right. Still, had she left them to a fate worse than death? Had she truly fulfilled her duties?

“Back so soon?” She snapped out of her reverie to find the healer from the other day gazing up at her from the door to his own room. She remembered now, Lankus Mistletoe was his name. And while he was a high elf that stood tall, slender, and blonde, he was still a foot shorter than her own dark form.

“You look harried. What say we have a few pints and relax? The stew is fresh downstairs and the fire is warm and bright. Unless…You prefer the one in my room.” He gave a sly wink at her as he wrapped his silk robe about himself and made his way down to the pub.

As the scent of jasmine wafted past her, she thought that perhaps everything would be okay. Maybe food and drink, and another warm body, were all she needed. She followed him downstairs, hoping to achieve all three of these needs. Hoping to forget these feelings of regret and impending doom.

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City of Heroes “Paragon Chat”: A City All Our Own

Atlas Park After the Fall

Atlas Park After the Fall

When Massively Overpowered broke that City of Heroes had returned in the form of a chat room, I was mildly interested. Then I saw the video posted with the article. It showed a hero running around the game, devoid of powers and with no enemies to fight. However, it was still the game. The costume pieces from Issue 24, the map zones, the original tutorial zones, music and sounds, and even some of the contact and guard NPCs are all there.

Back in 2008, I used to run around not only street sweeping bad guys, but also zooming in on the magazine covers, white boards, and posters to catch any small jokes hidden in plain sight. This was my first true experience in a 3D environment even though it came long after other MMO players had established World of Warcraft as the place to be.

My boyfriend, Randy, joked we should call it “City of Cosplayers” now.

The thing is, it might be empty of all but a few players, but it’s ours for the taking. Instead of fighting enemy NPCs, groups of PCs can dress as Hellions and Skulls and act out conflict. There’s even greater potential for roleplay and machinima projects without being interrupted by NPCs wanting to pistol whip you. The streets are a bit empty without civilians now, but this could be the next step in getting the game started again. And, yes, City of Titans, Heroes & Villains, and Valliance are all projects to look forward to and support, but this is what we really want. Dated graphics and gameplay and all. This is our true home.

screenshot_150710-09-58-52

You can download the chat client for PC here (Tequila), complete with the game client and Issue 24 costume sets:

http://www.cohtitan.com/forum/index.php/topic,9531.0.html

The Mac client (Island Rum) can be found here:

http://www.cohtitan.com/forum/index.php/topic,9502.0.html

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Lounge L33ts Episode 16: Clan Bar

We come back from the usual Spring Hiatus to discuss Anarchy Online’s 18.7 and 18.7.1 patches. Join Randy, Matt, Ed, and myself as we talk about the New Player Experience, a possible Steam launch, and updates to all 14 classes. This MMORPG venture into the cyberpunk genre has changed. But is it for the better? NOTE: Re-uploaded in 720×1280 (HD) from the previous upload of 368×640 (SD).

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Odyssey Con 15 Art Show!

I’ve been wanting to jump into the Odyssey Con Art Show for a while, and now I’ve finally have the materials gathered to make it happen. This will also be your chance to own a piece or two through the silent auction that will be taking place at the con. I’ll also be in the following panels:

Friday

11:00pm – “What Scares You?” (A discussion of fear in fiction and film. What are the differences between horror, suspense and terror? Why are we drawn to disasters and apocalyptic fiction? Why do we love to be afraid?)

6:00pm – MMO Panel (actual title forthcoming)

Saturday

1:00pm – “Popular Dystopia” (If dystopian worlds are such messed up places, why are readers obsessed with reading about them? What does dystopian literature say about the people who read it, and how does it reflect on our world?)

4:00pm – “Who Are These Women And Why Do They Have Dice?” (The modern concept of Gaming has been a boys club since its inception, but women have proved time and again they deserve to be included, so what’s all the fuss? Why are women being treated so horribly for calling the boys out on their bad attitudes?) – I’m a last minute addition to this panel!

Sunday

10:00am – “Book to Screen Adaptations” (Fans have strong reactions to their favorite books coming to the screen. What adaptations worked, and what didn’t? What is the reason many adaptations fail? Should readers have a vote in the casting of their favorite characters?)

A list of some of the pieces I’ll have for sale at the convention:

GETT-the-Natural-5Percent

GETT the Natural

Trash-2015-10Percent

Trash

Wingless-Fairy-I-10Percent

Wingless Fairy I

Wingless-Fairy-II-Searching-2015-10Percent

Wingless Fairy II: Searching

Nightlight-2015-10Percent

Wingless Fairy III: Nightlight

Other possible entries:

Daisy-Head-Men-2015-10Percent

Daisy Head Men

Aspis-2015-10Percent

Aspis

Elven-Lady-2015-10Percent

Elven Lady

Oddcon 15 runs April 10-12th at the East Crowne Plaza hotel in Madison, WI with the theme of “The Grazing Dead.” If you are an aspiring author or just plain interested in speculative fiction, I would highly recommend going. There is also usually a small LAN room and an independently run Anime Room. I hope I can see you there!

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Lounge L33ts: Taproom of the Elite Part 2

“The Wild Life” Barry craves a little adventure, and the Kinship is willing to give it to him. We begin our travels in the Glass-blowers’ camp near the bandit overrun hobbit village of Dwaling. From there we journey through Evendim to High King’s Crossing to trade with the Rangers there. Then it’s on to Tinnudir, where we find some pristine hides amongst other treasures. Ost Forod and the road to Forochel are fraught with dangers, chiefest among them are the tomb robbers and bandits. However, the wildlife is not to be underestimated as well. Join us on this journey through the ancient kingdom of Arnor. Just beware of the moose!
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Lounge L33ts: Taproom of the Elite Part 1

“The Founding” Sarah has an idea to start a Kinship in Lord of the Rings Online, and Matt, Randy, Ed, and Erin are there to help her get started. We check out the housing in the Shuckton neighborhood on Landroval server and get some ideas for our own dwellings.

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