Sunday, September 5, 2010

Piano Cover: I Am The One (Redux)

So about a month ago, I put up a post with an arrangement of Inon Zur's piece "I Am The One" from Dragon Age: Origins. I recently re-recorded the piece, but it turned out differently enough that I felt it merited its own post again. Thus, I (somewhat proudly...gahh for stupid mistakes) present take two of "I Am The One" (this time with video!).

I Am The One: Piano Cover

Composer: Inon Zur
Date Completed: 2010-09-04
Number of Takes: Way too many
Software: Audacity, Movie Maker
Instrumentation: Piano

I'll keep this one short and sweet. 'Til next time!



Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Rare(RO) MMO Experience

In mid-June, two of my friends (for anonymity's sake, let's call them Lorrien and Willis) convinced me to try out an online game called Ragnarok Online. Today, roughly two and a half months since that day and standing at the foreseeable end of my time on Ragnarok, I thought I'd take some time to reflect a bit on my experiences.

As far as my video gaming is concerned, I'm fairly new at this whole massively-multiplayer online RPG thing. The only game I'd played in the past vaguely resembling an MMO was RuneScape, and that was hardly a good indicator of the MMORPG world. Then again, perhaps neither was my Ragnarok experience. My friends and I ended up playing on Rare Ragnarok Online, a high-rate server with experience rates somewhere around 10,000 times that of the "normal" server. This essentially eliminated any time investment needed for character creation and allowed me to experiment with many different characters, but was admittedly a bit daunting at first to see everyone operating at seemingly near-expert familiarity.

Rare Ragnarok Online loading screen, courtesy of my friend Lorrien.

A selection of a few of my Ragnarok characters.

That's not to say that there wasn't any "grinding" in Rare Ragnarok Online, per se; rather, the grinding was for items rather than for levels. Specific powerful items custom to the server required large numbers of specific items in order to craft, so much time was spent killing hapless cute monsters and collecting their remains in hopes of building these items. Additionally, a number of "boss" MVP monsters, which spawn only once every few hours, occasionally dropped very rare and powerful card items, so I spent a fair amount of time chasing after these monsters in hopes of obtaining the cards (with a rather low success rate). Nonetheless, the possible frustration of these endeavors were mitigated somewhat by adventuring alongside Lorrien and Willis; we took care to stick together and help each other out with our quests whenever possible.

Many hours were invested in collecting, say, 300 Raccoon Leaves.

The most interesting part of the game, in my opinion, were the custom server events. Occasional mini-games like "Cluck, Cluck, Boom," "Hangman" and "Find the Prize" were welcome distractions, along with the more difficult challenges such as "Invasion" and "Cursed Dimension." In particular, Cursed Dimension became somewhat of a nightly routine, where Lorrien, Willis and I would party up every evening around midnight and attempt to eliminate MVP monsters and collect their rare items. The server events were made more entertaining by a staff of friendly GMs as well as a generally friendly player base, allowing for wacky experiments such as forming "RARERO" out of players (an endeavor which, unfortunately, was met with only limited success).

Preparing to do some Cursed Dimension with Lorrien and Willis.

You probably can't tell, but this is supposed to be the letter "E".

One of the many spontaneous GM-initiated server events.

Overall, my experience with Rare Ragnarok Online was an enjoyable one, and I'm a bit sad to be leaving it behind now. Lorrien, Willis and I met today (yes, IN REAL LIFE OMG) for one last Rare Ragnarok session together, where we did some final server events, randomly summoned a great number of enemies, gave away some of our items, and said our goodbyes to the server. It was quite the poignant moment. :)

Below are a few more screenshots of my time with Rare Ragnarok Online, to relive some of those good ol' days:

An initial photoshoot of my party with Lorrien and Willis.

My pet munak Tali (center).

A cool (and spontaneous) screenshot of our party in town.

Randomly summoning a bunch of monsters on our last RO excursion.

One last party screenshot with Lorrien and Willis.

That's all for now. For any random RareRO-ers who might have happened across this blog post: take care, and it's been fun. :)