Monday, December 31, 2007

Last post for 2007: thanks and wishes

Tonight we say goodbye to the year 2007, and hello to the year 2008 - so here's my send-off post.

Thanks go to:

Kim Hakkyu, IMC Games and HanbitSoft for creating and publishing Granado Espada.

SFA, Kubota Osamu, Kim Junsung and everyone else who created the soundtrack. Thanks for many, many hours of aural pleasure. This game has, far and away, the best soundtrack.

RCM Hrin for working so hard to support the entire Southeast Asian community playing under IAHGames's aegis. She's always responsive to comments from players.

pCM Veya and GE PH product manager Ivee for always inviting me to the local events.

DeSanggria for being the hardworking voice of the Philippine GE community until recently. Sis, you always have my support for everything.

Bloggers from all around the Philippines and the world: Novastorm, Gyl of Granadosource, Welling, Ogasawara-neesan, Mena, the Reclusion guys, Rococo, Fiksdotter, Arcleaumont, Sigrid, and so many others. Thanks for sharing the double experience.

My factions: from Harbin's Æphemeral to LuckyStar's ReBirth to aLKayeL's WrathOfGod, for making my gaming experience so much fun.

Friends I've made through the game: Thoraine, Jac [Alastor], Kraft, and all the others. You are wonderful people inside and out.

I wish for:

Continued development of the game: more updates, better equips, many more mobs to fight, dungeons to crawl, and maps to explore.

Peaceful patching especially with major updates.

Better measures against bots, RMT and all the other nasties affecting online games.

A better-behaved community.

More events both in-game and in real life. Please make the events more enjoyable for all.

Please bring back Channel 3. It really does help ease up on the lag that way.

Fairer prices for all of the items in the Premium Item Shop. Please make the items more accessible to more players. More items costing under 500 G-Points, please!

More exciting Colony Wars.

Continued storyline development, especially in the political aspect of the game.

Better treatment for the segment of the community that is trying to help everyone else.


I may have had more wishes, but forgot them. Oops.

Next post will be in 2008 - be safe however you celebrate the New Year, and happy hunting to all.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Colony Wars update: The last one for 2007

Cervantes server's colony ownership, in the last Colony Wars session of 2007:


If you think that the results of this week's Colony Wars look a lot like last week's - well, you'd be right. No changes occurred in colony ownership this week. I think people were mentally bracing themselves instead for the free-for-all that will be next Sunday's session - because, after all, there will be a reset of the colonies this coming first Thursday of January and 2008.

The brief list of factions that battled it out in this last session for the year:

Cupid V GuardsOfHonour
FallenAngels v GuardsOfHonour
MyGE v GuardsOfHonour
†Megalomaniacos† v Vradical

All of these conflicts ended in honorable truce during the session.

In the closing minutes of the session, several representative from Cupid, FallenAngels, and MyGE made server broadcasts thanking GuardsOfHonour for the good Colony Wars session. Maybe it was just a series of practice wars, I'm not sure. But there was a notable lack of ill-will among the four factions, and GuardsOfHonour were being thanked for a good session at its close.


Notes from WrathOfGod:

Preparing to defend Ferruccio Junction.

Having captured no less than six colonies last week, the faction shifted to full defense in this session. Since only about half the faction could make it, we were spread out pretty thin, so the defenders agreed to assist each other should any attacks come up, by warping to the afflicted colony/ies via the Colony Warp managers.

I volunteered to lead the defense of the Ferruccio Junction Colony, and wound up leading a small group of people: DelBaltuzar, DeAxelle, Nitesuki, givo, GraEspada, Lordvandor, HGSFROG, and warpig. We were an assorted mix of levels and teams, and as we were defending the colony that usually gets attacked first in normal CW sessions, had to brace ourselves for the craziest things that could happen.

And it turned out we actually didn't have anything to do for the entire session; some of us soon began to devote their time to other things such as leveling new characters. We we not remiss in our defense - we scouted Channel 2, we laid on the buffs - but we turned out to have attended a most lackluster session, and so there was nothing for it but to wait it out.

Next week, if the reset goes through as announced, WrathOfGod will lose its Colony's Protection buffs, all the colonies will once again be scrubbed and up for grabs, and we may even see the beginning of political and economic changes in the game's landscape.

But until then, this is NineMoons of Cervantes closing out the 2007 CW coverage. Next report will be dated January 2008. Happy grinding and happy new year to all.

Recapping a weekend full of comment

And it looks like my rant and its follow-up have both raised and settled some issues that have been festering in the Granado Espada community for some time now. Complaints and commentary about everything from the Naughty or Nice event to the FFA to the Nimrod Bridge Defense event have come up from all quarters. Happy to note that most of the comments have been rational and sensible - with the ignoble exception of some, who took advantage of anonymity.

[So for the time being, I'm going to start moderating the comments on this blog. I apologize for the inconvenience and hope you understand why I had to take that step.]

I think it's a good thing that such problems in the community have been brought to light. We'd had the same thing in mind when DeSanggria organized that bloggers' meeting. Now all that remains is to wait for a response from IAHGames, at whom most of the commentary in the players' blogs have been directed. Let's see what happens after the New Year.

Now, I stand corrected: Nate Reclusion has announced that he will continue writing the Colony Wars reports for his home server of Caracci, and I'm very happy to be corrected. I'm glad he's decided to continue and wish him the best of luck.

Please read DeSanggria's lament about Caravaggio and her precarious position there for an accounting of that server, straight from her.

And finally, here's some year-ender commentary from Fiksdotter about how the some of the year's events have been handled by IAH.

Until tonight and the final Colony Wars report of 2007 - happy gaming.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Follow-up to the previous rant

There's been quite an explosion of interest in my previous entry and I want to answer some of the concerns raised in the comments

aLKayeL said...
9moons, Ive been following your colony wars report for our server every week and I want to say that you really have done a great job. I hope you don't give up on your weekly reports and continue to contribute to the GE community. Its the people like you that can make a difference.
December 28, 2007 10:17 AM

NineMoons says: I am more than grateful for your wonderful and kind words, alk. As I said before, it's an honor to be part of your faction and to be a part of its successes in Colony Wars. Thank you very much for believing in me.

DeSanggria said...
sis, i had no idea about reclusion until u posted this. what the hell happened?
December 28, 2007 12:32 PM

NineMoons says: sis, one of the boys sent us an email with the following links: this first link talks about how they might no longer be able to join FFA as their main PC is having problems now. this second link talks about their decision to quit the CW reports. I think it's because they got fed up - all this work, compensation was promised but still withheld from all of us till now.

Anonymous said...
The thing is that being a reporter means being fair to anyone or at least not taking sides. The probable cause of the other servers going against their reporters is that, if I may say so, all reports focus on the reporters' faction. Of course this is natural if it is a private blog post. But getting the reports published as a server report requires that it either stays neutral or, if its gonna feature his/her faction then feature the story from the end of the other factions as well. Also the reporters must understand that however they try to make their reports as fair as they can, you guys simply cannot please everybody. Anyway keep up the good work and I hope you don't get affected by issues like these like the other reporters ^_^.Viva Cervantes, The best server haha.
December 28, 2007 2:12 PM

NineMoons says: your initial assumption is faulty. One of the prerequisites of becoming a CW reporter was joining a faction that was active in Colony Wars. Take note it's a prerequisite - none of us were eligible for the job if we were factionless. This requirement then means we had to write the reports from within our respective factions' point of view.

We talk about the other factions in our reports as well. I wonder if you noticed we all followed a format: war declarations, notes from our own factions, and then commentary and notes from other active factions in our respective servers.

We set out to write our reports in order to drum up interest in the CW feature, as well as to attract more people to the game [by showing the many active players and what they were up to on a weekly basis].

"Pleasing everybody" is not an issue. The issue lies in the insults and jeering and outright idiotic criticism we have received. More so when you realize that in DeSanggria's case, HALF THE SERVER was criticizing her unfairly. That is going too far, and all for the sake of self-aggrandizement.

Anonymous said...
But I thought you guys were doing it voluntarily? I didn't know that you were expecting something in return for what you were doing. I thought it was for the love of the game. Anyway I dont know about your agreements with iah so i'll leave it at that. As for the ffa. Yeah its questionable how an overused boring dramatic film would tie with a fun story with more creativity lol.
December 28, 2007 4:28 PM

NineMoons says: okay, perhaps I need to explain how our half of the deal over CW reports went. If you had gone back in this blog's archives, you would have noticed that I voluntarily began writing reports about the CW all throughout the testing phases.

My work simply got noticed and the idea spread among us bloggers; RCM Hrin finally stepped in and formally asked us to begin doing reports for our respective servers. Yes, we were promised compensation for our efforts, in return for adhering to a set of rules [and I have just explained one of the rules above]. And no, none of us have received any such compensation. All I know is that Hrin had already put in requests for compensation on our behalf to the powers that be at IAH.

Anonymous said...
Ok then if you were promised a compensation then disregard my previous comments.As for the FFA. You mean the skills to bore the viewers to death with an overtimed film?
December 28, 2007 5:46 PM

darrick07 said...
ok ok youre bored with kincaids team but comparing the quality of the two films frankly the Spoof is nothing.... its my honest opinion
December 28, 2007 6:30 PM

NineMoons says: As I have not seen any of the FFA entries in question, I shall refrain from commenting on this matter.

Fiksdotter said...
"Anonymous said...The thing is that being a reporter means being fair to anyone or at least not taking sides. The probable cause of the other servers going against their reporters is that, if I may say so, all reports focus on the reporters' faction. Of course this is natural if it is a private blog post. But getting the reports published as a server report requires that it either stays neutral or, if its gonna feature his/her faction then feature the story from the end of the other factions as well. Also the reporters must understand that however they try to make their reports as fair as they can, you guys simply cannot please everybody.Anyway keep up the good work and I hope you don't get affected by issues like these like the other reporters ^_^.Viva Cervantes, The best server haha."You're arrogance blinds you." Anonymous said...Ok then if you were promised a compensation then disregard my previous comments.As for the FFA. You mean the skills to bore the viewers to death with an overtimed film?"If your cephalic process cannot comprehend with the intellectuals' don't react because you are off track.
December 28, 2007 6:39 PM

NineMoons says: Fiksdotter, I do like your style; pity others don't get it.


Further, in response to the questions I received via Yahoo Messenger: As I mentioned, DeSanggria and Reclusion, our Colony Wars reporters for Caravaggio and Carracci servers respectively, have both quit being CW reporters, due to various issues that they have had either with their server [in DeSanggria's case] or with IAH [in Reclusion's case].

In the wake of these problems, I also must reexamine my reasons for staying on as Colony Wars reporter for my main server Cervantes. I do have to show solidarity with the other reporters, who are also dear friends of mine.


I hope that my responses to some of the comments from the previous post will help others to understand what has been going on.


I do not tolerate trolls in this blog. Rest assured that should any unpleasantness crop up in the wake of this and the previous entry, I must resort to using the banhammer as well as the power of bahleet.
To anonymous: I'd greatly prefer it if you began signing your comments. This applies to ALL anonymous posters - you can do that, you know.

Update: back in Coimbra, and a rant about Colony Wars


Family status:

NineMoons in Cervantes
Levels - 76-all
Members - Aurana, full-support scout / Tuon, rapier duelist / Chimal, landbound wizard


Colony Wars news:

Two weeks ago four servers were represented for the Vespanola Times's Colony Wars reports. I reported for Cervantes, the wonderful and wacky Reclusion brothers for Carracci [with assistance from the Mena family], my dear friend DeSanggria for Caravaggio, and the Yatsushiro family for Pachelbel.

But from the 30th of December onward, I alone will be left reporting on one server's Colony Wars sessions once again. I feel angry and disappointed and thoroughly let down.

And I am not angry at the reporters who have left - they have my deepest sympathies. I understand why they had to leave. In the case of the Reclusion boys and of DeSanggria, their own servers have turned against them.

Where they had been asked to report courageously from the front lines of battle, they were instead met with jeering, anger, and charges of favoritism and incompetence.

Where we set out to drum up interest for our respective servers, we were instead rebuffed and called shameful names.

All of us were asked to do these things for our servers, and we have been faithful in our duties, but we have not got much except sneering indifference from some and outright hatred from others.

Where is the community spirit? Where is the wish to draw more people into this game? Where have all the good players gone? Have Granado Espada's servers been taken over by those who will eventually bring this game down?

Where is the assistance and support from those who are tasked to help out the game? Where are the GMs? Where are the country CMs? Who is in charge?

Who is going to read this plaintive cry?

My name is NineMoons and I am the CW reporter from Cervantes server. And I am disappointed.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

An Ustiur dispatch: greeting the camp leaders

Family status:

Family - NineMoons in Cervantes
Levels - 75-all
Members - Aurana, full support scout / Tuon, spear-carrier / Chimal, landbound wizard


After finally reaching Level 75, I sent my main team in Cervantes once again onto the Pinta from the Port of Coimbra. Their destination this time were the steamy, dinosaur-ridden jungles of Ustiur, and the beleaguered Pioneers' Camp set up there.

Upon arrival, the girls were welcomed - after a fashion - by none other than the Queen of Pioneers, Grandice:

Saluting Grandice.

Grandice spoke to the girls of the camp's isolation and the succeeding difficulties with supplies and anti-monster assistance, and sent them to speak with the leader of the Rescue Knights, Romina.

Presenting their credentials to Romina.

I'll come back to these maps soon, just as soon as the girls make the required levels to begin the resupplying quests there.

In the meantime, back to leveling - and as it's already Thursday, we'll all have to wait another week before beginning the Viki recruitment quests! Oh well~ ^^

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Granado Espada scoop! Notes on the election system

At present, RCM Hrin holds the rank of Honored Guest in WrathOfGod faction, as she's with us on an extended visit. Christmas Day night saw her both leveling to make Veteran status, and chatting with the rest of us.

And then faction leader aLKayeL introduced the topic of the elections for the political leaders of Granado Espada: the Royalists' Duke, the Republicans' President, and the Chancellor of Granado Espada [specifically in Cervantes server].

Hrin replied that the election system might be implemented as early as next week - the first week of January 2008, and quite possibly on Saturday night [5 January, for those of you keeping score at home]. Succeeding elections would then be held on the first Saturday of the month.

His concern also had something to do with the enormous amount of money representing the collected taxes to date from the Market Manager, about 14 BILLION vis in our server. He was wondering about all that money and its possible effect on the server economy; previously, the faction with the most colonies got ALL of the market taxes.

Hrin's answer was, IAH were looking into splitting the market tax between the three leaders: the President, the Duke, and the Chancellor. Each leader gets 35% of the taxes. In line with this, and in order to correct any possible imbalances related to the money, she added that they were also thinking of resetting the market taxes in time for the New Year.

They were also trying to think of a way to grant the President and Duke some abilities to affect the game, but were stumped because they had to try and think of abilities that would NOT upset the game's balance.

Some info eh? More news as I get it - and hopefully Hrin will look at this and tell me if I need to correct anything XD

Something for the WrathOfGod peeps ^^


I'm happy to be part of WrathOfGod faction in Cervantes server. They are making my current experience in Granado Espada so much fun~ ^^ Cheers, guys!


Tonight's goals:

- make lv 75
- get on the boat to Ustiur
- complete tagging my 18 Christmas trees Got my Santa Hats! Check it out:


- find a way to buy 11 Mysterious Powders with vis

A Christmas Day feast: let us eat cake!

In a previous entry on this blog I talked about some of the sweet items on offer as HP-restorers within the game of Granado Espada: tiramisu, layered cheesecake, and Sachertorte.

Now with the Christmas season upon us and people busily opening their Red Socks, we've stumbled across three new cakes, which not only restore HP but also bestow elemental buffs.

Yup, we're talking about the Buche de Noel items. In the real world, this item is properly named Bûche de Noël. In French, this means "Yule log" and refers to a cake that is decorated to look like a snow-covered log. Many bakers decorate this cake to include icing, confectioner's-sugar snow, chocolate shavings, berries, actual tree branches, and meringue mushrooms.

The in-game item Buche de Noel comes in three flavors:

Burning Hands,

Electric Charger, and

Chilling Touch.

The Buche de Noel are usable by all characters. Aside from restoring a family's HP, these items also bestow the respective elemental buffs when used. The buffs last for about 150 seconds each, and do not stack [the same as with the original buffs.]

While the in-game item calls itself a cheesecake, the usual recipe for Buche de Noel often involves a yellow sponge cake. It is baked in a flat jelly roll pan in a thin layer, which after baking is left to cool, then frosted and rolled up into a cylinder, which resembles a log. A portion is often cut off and placed on top of the cylinder to make a stump, and the entire cake is covered in chocolate frosting. The deep brown of the frosting makes the cake resemble a wooden log even more.

For more on the origins of this tasty European holiday treat, start with the Wikipedia article.

Happy holidays to all ^^ And good luck tagging your Christmas Trees, collecting your "X" items, and getting your wishes granted by Santa!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas tonight~! ^^


Seasons' Greetings from the NineMoons family, and we hope your holiday wishes come true!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Colony Wars update: Granado Espada after the reset [Cervantes]

And after the very first monthly reset of colonies comes the first Colony-Wars-from-scratch we've seen in a while; here are the results in Cervantes server of Granado Espada.


Congratulations to GuardsOfHonour, Halcyon, Vradical, and WrathOfGod for obtaining colonies!

And other factions were in the thick of the renewed conflict as well; here are the factions that declared war on each other:

Halcyon v Illuminati
GuardsOfHonour v Illuminati
Cupid v GrandLodge - truced, then re-declared war
ReBirth v FallenAngels
GuardsOfHonour v FallenAngels
Cupid v FallenAngels
DCArebirth™ v Halcyon - truced
Halcyon v GuardsOfHonour - truced
DCArebirth™ v GuardsOfHonour - truced

If I've missed any war declarations, please comment and I'll update the post - thanks! ^^

One of the factions that had been active in Colony Wars prior to the reset - MaFiaCLuB™ faction - did not attend this week, so they lost the chance to snag a colony for themselves. Heard it through the grapevine that they might be disbanding. If anyone wants to confirm or deny the story, likewise please comment and I'll update the post.


News from WrathOfGod:

With the colonies a blank slate following the first monthly reset, WrathOfGod made plans to try and get several colonies, and accordingly formed several attacking teams. We set our sights on the following locations:

Scorching Plateau
Via Fluvial
El Canon Diabolica
Topolo Durga
Bonavista River

Vet squads attacked Scorching, Via, and Topolo and emerged victorious - the attackers at Scorching succeeded in taking the colony a mere fifteen minutes into the war, making it the first colony captured.

A squad with non-vet members was sent to El Canon Diabolica, and I joined the squad even though I was slightly under-leveled for the map. This is what we looked like as we attacked:

Just before the Colony Wars session started, here we are, massed around the colony and poised for attack.

One of the buffs provided in this screenshot came from the Snowman Ward summon item that's the first of the rewards from the Christmas trees hide-and-seek holiday-themed quest. Upon tagging six trees, pioneer families can redeem the 6 tags for 25 Snowman Wards. Each item summons a Snowman critter, which generates a buff are that bestows a +10% ASPD bonus on everyone inside the area of effect.

That was my Snowman Ward, by the way. ^^

The assault on the El Canon colony, featuring Hrin's blenders of death! [That's the Great Rotating Blades skill/structure for you, courtesy of multiple Diegos and a few Angies.]

That's my Albaes-clad wizard on the left side of the screenshot.

The colony also fell into our hands, and flush with victory, we were ordered to the colony at Bonavista river, which was already being attacked by other factions.

Luckily we managed to take the colony through sheer force of numbers, making it colony number 5 for the faction.

We thought it was going to end there, and then suddenly the world announcement popped up: the Ferruccio Junction colony was ours! All the squads looked at each other curiously until we all pieced it together: one of our members took his triple-Diego team and commenced a solo assault on the colony, finally breaking it - all by himself!

And that's how we came to have six colonies. Next week we might face some tough opposition for them - and we might not, but best to make plans for defense on a massive scale now.

Here's one of the celebratory shots taken after the session was finished. Where else could we have gone to celebrate our six colonies but to Ferruccio Junction, our surprise colony?!


Gratz to WrathOfGod and glory!

Till next week~ happy holidays to all~

Friday, December 21, 2007

Picspam: a visit to Bahia Island


Ah, the sun, the sea, the sand!


Your generous welcoming committee. Not only does Rosa Blanca give you free run of the island paradise of Bahia, she also gives you a welcome gift, a Wreath hat! [Vets only, though.]


Thanks to the combined power of the Expert Combat Manual and the special 2x EXP rate currently in place, my family has made it to level 72 - and all wearing the armors and weapons to prove it!

...Back to leveling, mustn't waste that manual....

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Three-day maintenance pre-Version 2.4: NineMoons makes holiday plans

Okay, so here we are with fingers and toes crossed, hoping that Version 2.4 launches on time and without bugs at noon today. I'll have to try to be in-game for at least an hour, but no promises right now, as there are other things in real life that I must attend to.

Anyway, holiday plans! This year we're not really doing much for Christmas, so I will spend as much time as I can inside the world of Granado Espada. After all, there's a bunch of things to look forward to.

More Christmas events have been added. Aside from the previously announced Naughty or Nice, there are a few more coming up: Christmas Trees Hide and Seek, Snowman's Red Socks, and Premium Dungeon Santa Hats.

Details here.

The nice thing about these additional in-game holiday events is the chance to win various Christmas-themed gear and costumes such as Santa Hats, the Santa Costumes, Reindeer Horns and more.

[Are those Snowmen the long-lost cousins of our MIA Jack Frost?]

Lots of new items will be up for purchase at the Premium Item Shop as well, from new costumes to new pots, consumables, and others.

Angie McKenzie will now be available as an RNPC. The link details her stats, skills, and the pros and cons for recruiting her. No details on her quest though. It will be up to the early bird log-ins to make sense of the quest by which this comely Construction RNPC can be recruited.

RCM Hrin talks about a tentative release schedule for Version 2.4 maps and RNPCs in this blog post, a countdown to the new version's launch.

For the Fantazzztic Film Awards crowd, Microsoft Scene and Heard week is now open for submissions.

Since I've made my goal of reaching Level 70 before Christmas, I'll be spending the rest of my Combat Manual available time grinding. With luck and a good leveling spot I might try to make Level 84 before the year is out. [Woo, Clara Mago!]

I hope to see you all soon, with the launch of Bahia Island!

[Makes offerings to the deities against bugs, glitches, and crashes....]

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Three-day maintenance pre-Version 2.4: NineMoons's year-end round-up

I know it's not the end of the year yet, but it's close enough - so this entry is devoted to looking back at the 10 months that I've been both playing and blogging Granado Espada.

A month-by-month wrap-up:

- My very first entry, six days before the Closed Beta Test period ended
- Fun with family names
- A five-part guide to the types of quests found in-game
- The first hint of the struggle between the Royalists and the Republicans

- A four-part series on the correspondences between GE and the real world
- Meeting fellow bloggers at iBlog 3, and hearing about GE at the same time
- Meeting RCM Hrin for the first time
- NineMoons interviews RCM Hrin and meets Hellgate: London CM Angelace

- My first faction, Æphemeral

- 5000 hits ^^
- Coverage of Pioneers' Reconnaissance
- NineMoons interviews pCM Veya
- First Colony Wars coverage
- Coverage of the first Granado Espada PvP tournament at Toycon
- 10,000 hits!
- The infamous "chicksilog" entry XD

- First all-servers EB
- First printed article about GE: a beginner's guide
- NineMoons's Granado Espada Trivia Bonanza
- First GE fanfic: The Pirates of Porto Bello

- My main team on Cervantes reaches Family Level 6
- Coverage of the 2nd i-Cafe Congress
- First PvP session, against DeSanggria - and first victories ^^

- At Blade Point: A tale of the NineMoons Family
- Coverage of Liberty's Wrath and first PvP competition
- A five-part coverage of the Granado Espada PH Launch Weekend
- ♥♥RNPCs Are Love
- First birthday in GE [my 25th]

- First Baron kill
- My second faction, ReBirth
- First colony and Colony Wars kill
- Coverage of GE at Oktoberfest
- The first Granado Espada PH bloggers' meet

- Not Another Love Story, an FFA entry
- My third [and current] faction, WrathOfGod
- GE gets featured in

- First boss raids: Diablo and Vergo the Cursed
- GE and Intel Machinima workshops press con
GE and Intel Machinima workshops session
- A rant about Colony Wars + reactions + recap
- Final post for 2007

Whew! It's been a hectic ten months! I hope you've had as much fun reading my blog as I've had putting it together!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Three-day maintenance pre-Version 2.4: NineMoons's three wishes

Here's a nice idea for a holiday event: Naughty or Nice?

Essentially, we all get to make three wishes to IAH-Santa Claus. Sky's the limit, although of course you can't piss off the guy who wants to give you a present, right? Post your wishes in the forums - the "Nice" ones might get their wishes granted, while the "Naughty" ones...well, I wouldn't want to be one of them in any case.

Wishes might be granted between 24-26 December.

A quick look at the Cervantes wishes thread reveals that the current hottest commodities are elite Black Dragon Hunters, elite Pizzarros, elite Ring Mail, Emilia the Sage, Divine Angel Wings, and Catherine the Summoner.

My wishes:

- A nice holiday dinner with fellow GE bloggers, RCM Hrin, and the other support staff including country CMs
- A GE-skinned iPod nano 8GB
- elite stuff and stance books for my main team ^^

This holiday season in Granado Espada should be QUITE interesting ^^

Three-day maintenance pre-Version 2.4: NineMoons tackles the Forgotten Territories

Okay, okay, I may be one of the last people to try it on for size but maybe I should just say I was too poor to pony up for the Expert Combat Manual?

I finally managed to venture into the Forgotten Territories after the F2P switcharoo compensation package arrived. Seriously, I took one look at the Combat Manuals and I said, "Oooh, I can haz marathon tiem nao!"

I picked 17 December as my start date, and it turns out I did well by activating my Forgotten Territories pass at around 8am. [Because of the three-day maintenance, of course.]

Yes. A 24-hour marathon barely eight hours after the long slog of the last Colony Wars session. Call me crazy.

Anyway, with the Lelo de Arena and Combat Manual statuses/buffs activated, I proceeded to Dr. Torsche's Mansion, and jumped straight into this:


Family status at entrance:

Levels - 66-all
Members - Aurana, full support scout [First Aid and Fortitudo stances mastered] / Tuon, fighter [Blandir Cruz stance active] / Chimal, wizard [ESP stance active]

Chimal mastered her ESP stance around 10am, and I switched her gear and stance around: equipped a staff, activated The Illusionist stance.

Level 68 get. New weapons for Chimal and Tuon.

I spent a lot of time bopping between Zones 2 and 3 - the former for the sheer number of mobs, the latter for the better drops.


An observation: while fighting off tons of Forgotten Helenas, I had plenty of time to wonder just why the heck were they designed to look like a weird cross between Street Fighter's Chun-Li and the standard Helena. Heck, for a while there I thought "Haha, so I'm fighting an android version of Feng Ling?!"

Along the way I killed off a Forgotten Victor and got some nice drops off him - unfortunately, I was standing in the wrong place when the Treasure Chests appeared - I only opened two of the four, and got killed by the sheer number of mobs. Should have gone to F9 mode and spammed pots. I'll remember that for the next time.

I should have made 72 at the end of the 24 hours but it wasn't meant to be - I got hit once too often by lag spikes, which killed my girls and/or made the EXP gain slow down tremendously. But I'm happy with the results I already got, and plan to make up the difference after the maintenance as my Combat Manual will still be active by then.

Family status at exit:

Levels - 70-all
Members - Aurana, full support scout [First Aid and Fortitudo stances mastered] / Tuon, fighter [Blandir Cruz stance active] / Chimal, wizard [ESP and The Illusionist stances mastered]

As a side note: until the developers come up with a compelling Vet stance for Levitation, I have no plans of mastering it. Soul Liquors are a bloody expensive habit.

I can't wait to make Level 72 very soon, as I'm excited for the change of armors and weapons!

Three-day maintenance pre-Version 2.4: Index post

The announcement of the three-day maintenance

Right, we're off for three days because IAHGames apparently wants to make sure Version 2.4 is going to be okay once we all get back in. Hence a three-day maintenance, from 18 Dec at 9am until 20 Dec at 12nn!

This is an index post for all the articles I'll be putting up over the next three days, so everyone can keep track of what I've been rambling about. There'll be a lot of good content around here, I promise! Look out for articles about the Forgotten Territories, things to be thankful for, holiday wishes, and maybe even some fanfiction!

NineMoons blogs Granado Espada - let the three-day marathon begin!

NineMoons tackles the Forgotten Territories
NineMoons's three wishes
NineMoons's year-end round-up
NineMoons makes holiday plans

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Colony Wars update: A visit from an honored guest

Before I reveal the identity of the honored guest, have a look at the current world map of Granado Espada in Cervantes server:


This map is much the same as last week's, with one exception. This week, Apathy faction was defeated, and its lone colony, the one at Jezebel Glen, was usurped by Halcyon faction.

So congratulations to Vradical, GuardsOfHonour, MaFiaCLuB™, Halcyon, and WrathOfGod factions for acquiring / defending their colonies this week!

Here is the very short list of war declarations for this week. Newly minted Cupid faction mixed it up with the other factions in its very first CW session. And Illuminati faction may well be beginning its comeback, as they are back in contention again after nearly three weeks' hiatus.

Cupid v Apathy
Halcyon v Apathy - truced [after colony ownership changed hands]
Halcyon v Illuminati
Vradical v Illuminati
WrathOfGod v Illuminati


Notes from WrathOfGod:

While suiting up for Colony Wars, I found out that many of the boss mobs from the Nimrod Bridge Invasion were actually still hanging around! I even got killed by at least one of them!

Novia reigned in both the Port of Coimbra in Channel 1, and in the City of Auch in Channel 3.
A Treasure Golem, in the meantime, was haunting the City of Auch in Channel 2.
A big, cute Fatness Rabbit bounced madly around Cite de Reboldoeux in Channel 1.
Dilos Lantemn looked over the sea at the Port of Coimbra in Channel 2.

While some of these mobs were pretty harmless - for all his elemental stylings Dilos wasn't actually hitting me when I dropped in for a trade, and the Fatness Rabbit simply hopped around my family as they stood in Andre Street - the Novias, at least, were extremely deadly. I suffered an OHKO [one-hit knockout] at her hands in Coimbra.

And now I reveal to you the identity of our honored guest: none other than Regional Community Manager Hrin ^^ She's been visiting the faction for a little over a month now, but this is one of the few times when she agreed to join us during Colony Wars. She brought her scout-elementalist-wizard team to the fray.

I'd asked to help defend a colony this week as usual, and got assigned to Ferruccio Junction. Hrin was online shortly before CW and we asked her if she would join us - and when she agreed, my squad leader invited her to help the defense at the first-level colony.

Her team isn't in this picture yet, but this is shortly after she joined our squad.

As it turned out, with the exception of the war declarations, there was absolutely nothing to do at the colony - there were neither visitors nor invaders. So we spent the time talking with Hrin about several things, generally just shooting the breeze.

Partway through the session my faction leader organized a party to hunt Diablo in Pradera de Ceniza, and so relaxed was this Colony Wars that nearly all of us who were online then dropped by, even those who were supposed to be on duty elsewhere. [It was a good thing we could simply warp to that map through the Faction Colony Managers, as we've held the Pradera colony for about three weeks now.]


Diablo dispatched quickly, we returned to our assigned posts to finish out the session.

And that is the Hrin family next to mine in the picture, Lucifer Wings and all. You'll notice she was using a Singtel Snow Spray item there ^^ Pretty snowflakes. That is faction vice-leader Catastrophic behind us, by the way.

[Yes, it was a relaxed session all right. Three families, only one composed of vets, at the colony that usually gets hit first by attackers. XD]

So now we hope that the reset of colonies every first Thursday of the month will help alleviate the monotony of the past few Colony Wars sessions.

Until next week and the start of a new era of Colony Wars~

Version 2.4 Bahia Island trailer - now with English subtitles!

With English-language subtitles laid over the original Korean descriptions ^^

Next posts: NineMoons makes holiday plans and her Colony Wars report~!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

GE+Intel Machinima Workshops Saturday session 3: picspam

Continued from yesterday's doings...

After the press briefing from yesterday, it was time to come in for one of the weekend workshop sessions and at least attempt to apply the skills taught with regards to machinima to an actual video game-source - which in this case was none other than Granado Espada.

Ran into Mena first and we talked about Versions 2.4 and 2.5. [In particular: the current poster/splash image at the GE fansite. Check out that crossbow chick!]

[You can read Mena's account of his workshop session here: The Intel Machinimasia Movie-Making Workshop.]

Later on the boys of Casa Reclusion showed up as well.

machinima workshop01
LOTS of people showed up for Session 3, originally slated for about 2pm but somewhat delayed due to technical difficulties.

Want to see the prizes up for grabs for the actual workshops were? Sure you do:

machinima workshop02
From top: 8GB iPod touch, gift certificates in an El Nido envelope [El Nido is a famed beach resort in Palawan province], the glass trophy, Intel Core 2 Quad-enabled PC tower.

Several of the organizers said that the PCs being used in the workshop were actually up for sale. That meant just the PC towers, actually - peripherals not included.

machinima workshop03
The unit at which I tried to see if I had grasped the basics of machinima properly.

Cillian Lyons was once again on hand to briefly introduce machinima, and cracked the same joke about the word and its origins in a typographical error - something like "Next time you make a typo, tell 'em you're making up a name for a new digital artform...." ^^

I had a few stories in mind going in, but wound up going with a semi-serious tale in which Ashandarei, my Jack the Engineer, plays a widowed father to Ravashi, my elementalist. The pair mark the death anniversary of Ichigiku, my Adelina Esperanza, who was once Ashandarei's wife.

...Unfortunately, I don't have the machinima on hand. I borked the save, and so the file was lost. I guess I'll just try to reshoot it on my own and upload it here so you can see it.

Clowning around after the session:

machinima workshop04
From left to right: Darrick, Nate, Mena, DeSanggria, and NineMoons.

machinima workshop05
Product Manager Ivee, pCM Veya, Darrick, NineMoons, and DeSanggria.

Losing my first machinima video meant I was no longer in the running for the prizes in the pics above, but I'm happy to have gone home with this freebie from the nice people at Intel:

machinima workshop06
A 1GB Apacer flash drive!

[Yesterday's freebie from the press briefing was a neat little webcam unit.]


Because I was in the workshop trying to make that lost video, I was unable to attend the Nimrod Bridge Invasion event - but never fear. Arcleaumont writes a stirring entry - with the screenshots to prove it - here: Cloverfield: GE style.


If you're all fired up to make your own machinima, then try entering the GEph community's Community Favorite competition for lots of nifty in-game prizes! Check out the announcement at pCM Veya's blog.


View all the photos from this machinima-mad weekend at my Photobucket: GE machinima.

GE+Intel Machinima Workshops presscon: picspam

So there's this brewing right now in the local Granado Espada scene:


In the afternoon of 14 December there was a special lunch for the local press to not only get acquainted with the concept of machinima, but also to introduce Granado Espada as a source for the machinima, as well as a quick hit of the Fantazztic Film Awards.

The press briefing was presented by Intel Philippines and CreaM [Creative Media and Film Society of the Philippines], in cooperation with MachinimaSIA [The Asia Chapter of the Academy of Machinima Arts and Sciences] and IP E-Games. Theme: Driving Original Pilipino Digital Content Development.

The direct sequel to this press briefing was, of course, the series of machinima workshops taking place on 15-16 December at the Ascott Makati [formerly, and infamously, known as Oakwood].

Here's a quick picspam of the speakers at the press briefing:

machinima presscon01
The theme of the press briefing.

machinima presscon02
Intel Philippines Country Manager Ricky Banaag.

machinima presscon03
Cillian Lyons representing MachinimaSIA. To demonstrate machinima, he "recorded" a male fighter and a female elementalist doing an approximation of the YMCA dance.

machinima presscon04
Ms Imee Marcos, the founder of CreaM.

machinima presscon05
GEph Product Manager Ivee Feria. Her introductory presentation for GE was geared more specifically on its possibilities as a source for machinima.

She also mentioned that the very idea of the FFA came about from the many machinima fan films created by Filipino GE players ^^

machinima presscon06
A sneak peek at the theme of the machinima workshops.

pCM Veya has announced that those who reserved seats for the workshops will be receiving a Bear Package ^^

In an interview with Hero TV after the press briefing, Ivee also said that should the FFA champions be from the Philippines, IP E-Games will award them an additional set of prizes: a 1GB video card each!

Continue to the workshop


View all the photos from this machinima-mad weekend at my Photobucket: GE machinima.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Completing the Five Books of Martial Arts

This good-looking guy is the bearer of the last of the Five Canons of Martial Arts, the Book of Mind. The stance's skills are Bluedragon-hill kick, Breath of Hyunmoo, Half-moon kick, and Atomic whitetiger-strikes.

The interesting part is that this new martial artist seems to be named Byako, at least according to the URL for his pictures. That sounds really close to "Byakko", which is the name of one of the guardian constellations in Chinese and Japanese astrology.

Similarly, the forums name this RNPC Bai Hu, the Chinese equivalent of Byakko.

The guardian constellations are:
Azure Dragon of the East.
Qīng Lóng in Chinese,
Seiryuu in Japanese.
Vermilion Bird of the South.
Zhū Què in Chinese, Suzaku in Japanese.
White Tiger of the West. Bái Hǔ in Chinese, Byakko in Japanese.
Black Tortoise of the North.
Xuán Wǔ in Chinese, Genbu in Japanese.
Yellow Dragon of the Center.
in Chinese, [occasionally] Ouryo in Japanese.

Each of these five constellations is tied to a cardinal direction, a season, and an element. The five elements involved correspond roughly to the five cardinal elements often found in Asian philosophy and culture.

Azure Dragon - East - Wood - Spring
Vermilion Bird - South - Fire - Summer
White Tiger - West - Metal - Autumn
Black Tortoise - North - Water - Winter
Yellow Dragon - Center - Earth - The change of seasons

With that in mind, let's try to match the Five Books of Martial Arts and their warriors up with the guardian constellations:

Gracielo - Book of Wind = Azure Dragon, East
Jean Pierre -
Book of Earth = Yellow Dragon, Center
Irawan - Book of Fire = Vermilion Bird, South
Soso -
Book of Frost = Black Tortoise, North
Byako - Book of Mind = White Tiger, West

Well, now you know how deep Granado Espada's roots go as far as East Asian astrology and culture are concerned ^^

Sources: - Byako / Bai Hu pictures. - Chapter of Mind. - Chinese guardian constellations.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

NineMoons meets Diablo and Vergo the Cursed

So I was poking around Pradera de Ceniza this morning to farm for more Refined Aidanium; my current pastime is to hoard minerals for crafting, because I am a devout believer in being prepared for forging in future.

Chasing dogs and spiders got me to THIS place on the map:


Well, since some WrathOfGod members were already there, I was quickly drafted into the squad, and given the double duties of resser and buffer; most of the buffs you can see on my characters in the screenshot were therefore cast by me except the elemental and vet-wiz stuff.


Turned out that with all the high-powered characters already there, Diablo didn't last long at all. He might as well have been gone in 60 seconds XD I didn't even have to resuscitate anyone.


Half an hour later, I moved to Porto Bello Desolate Cliff. No real reason this time, just wandering the map, picking up bits of Refined Ionium where possible, trigger fingers ready to run like hell should any boss be spotted.

Instead of running AWAY from a boss, I wound up running into THIS!

11dec vergo 01

@.@ *checks amount of resuscitation potions*

I was still in the squad from Diablo since I'd forgotten to leave, and there were a lot of WOG members present, so I tried to ress as many of the fallen as I could, while simultaneously avoiding all those damn bosses who were making bloody nuisances of themselves.

11dec vergo 02

*mutters* Vergo the Cursed is apparently a bully. Never goes anywhere without his posse. Probably thinks he's fly....

...Never mind that he DOES fly.

That was SOME introduction to two of Granado Espada's biggest, most sought-after bosses.

[That just makes them sound like they're eligible bachelors or something! *headdesk* XD]

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Colony Wars update: War is hell, but lag is worse!

[The title of this post comes from a slogan I thought of while - you guessed it - slogging through lag.]

First things first: the current map of Granado Espada in Cervantes server.


Congratulations to GuardsOfHonour, Vradical, WrathOfGod, MaFiaCLuB™, Halcyon, and Apathy factions for acquiring / defending their colonies!


If one glance at that map above makes you say "Hmm, something seems to have changed" - well, you'd be right. Two factions bowed out of contention for colonies tonight: Fenrir, which apparently disbanded recently; and Fukkatsu, whose last CW tonight was, and whose name has been wiped from the map.

Little wonder, then, that Fukkatsu got warred by everyone else, their colonies attacked by the contender factions as soon as the session began.

Two factions declared war on Fukkatsu just prior to the start of tonight's Colony Wars: WrathOfGod and Vradical. The latter declaration ended in a truce.

The other declarations below:

Apathy v Fukkatsu
GuardsOfHonour v Fukkatsu
MaFiaCLuB™ v Fukkatsu - truced
FallenAngels v Fukkatsu - truced
MaFiaCLuB™ v FallenAngels - truced
Apathy v FallenAngels - truced
Halcyon v Fukkatsu - truced
Vradical v FallenAngels - truced

Both Fenrir's and Fukkatsu's members have since been absorbed into other factions, including [but not limited to] Vradical, Illuminati, et cetera.

[Speaking of Illuminati, a member of that faction dropped in at one of the WrathOfGod colonies and confirmed that they were not joining this session either. That makes about 3 sessions missed, and the rumblings of a comeback continue throughout the server, especially with the absorption of some ex-Fenrir members.]


Notes from WrathOfGod:

With many of the senior members absorbed in multiple boss raids prior to the Colony Wars session, we squadded up late, but soon enough an attack team was formed to target the colony at the Old Port of Coimbra; and the defense squad was asked to assemble at Pradera de Ceniza.

Two defense teams showed up at that colony and were told to prepare for anything and everything that could possibly happen, and to get ready to warp to the other colonies [Ferruccio Junction and El Lago de Tres Hermanas] should they get attacked.

So we waited, and waited, and waited....

And we actually all went after faction vice-leader Callisto at some point when he checked in on our defense squads, and his characters' names were burning a bright red.

Aside from that and visits from other random factions [Halcyon, the aforementioned Illuminati, and even one female fighter from ValhallaKnights], there was nothing much to do again.

So we went back to the old standbys of leveling off the dogs in the map, and summoning random big monsters. This week we got a Thoracotomy, a Vladimir, a Sabel Tiger, a Grim Reaper, and a Jungle Velociraptor.

Tuon helps to tank a Thoracotomy. [Got a crap drop XD]

During the first hour our attack squad succeeded at their attack on the colony at the Old Port of Coimbra; here's the world announcement of the takeover:

Hurray for a fourth colony!

With less than ten minutes left in the session, we were all called to that new colony by Callisto and the other squad leaders. At first it was going to be for a celebratory photoshoot, but then we got word that the area boss Dekaravia was in the area - and we decided to go after him!

[Warning: Dekaravia has a nasty debuff that hurts vets more than it does lower-levels - ironic since vets ought to stand a better chance against him. For reference, read this funny post in the Vradical blog.]

Lots of Spartans jokes ensue from the mixed crowd [mostly vets plus a healthy sprinkling of lower levels], and we find ourselves up against THIS ugly guy:


And, less than ten minutes later [shortly after the Colony Wars session ended], we'd all been wiped out.

OMGWTFBBQ pwned. *facepalm*

And I logged out, chuckling, to write up my report. Will ETA once I find out whether the faction killed that boss or not.

ETA: Revenge is sweet - Dekarabia went down in the second run, and apparently said "I need somebody to help me" as he died. [So big bosses talk!]

Till next week.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Today's links: FFA updates, Game! teaser, upcoming features, tips and tricks

I'm thinking of doing a post on Angie soon although this thread in the forums has already got the ball rolling. So while I work on that one, have some links.

Updates for the Fantazzztic Film Awards - includes new schedules and submissions dates. The important part is the LAST paragraph, which details the consolation prizes that will be handed out to the top 20 finishers of each Scene and Heard week. Yup - instant elites and premium packages, kids ^^

Teaser for the November print issue of Game! magazine, now online - if you haven't bought this one yet, you probably should, as vets have their own Super Fight map in the upcoming version. This one's chock-full of tips to get you to Lv100 that much faster. The article was the result of a collaboration between me and Welling [oi, update plx! XD].

ShenLuo's massive updates thread - ShenLuo of the forums posts a list of the upcoming features included in the next big patch. This includes updates for Witches of Bahamar and for Tropical Island. Updates include new maps, RNPCs, items, quests and more.

Arconis, Blood Countess posts some tips and tricks - want to learn how useful the Detection skill is? What's another way to obtain those ultra-rare Lv9x-100 chips? What are those torture devices in Prison de Joaquin and why the hell are they shooting at me? Find out here!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

V.2.4 Bahia Island patch now available for downloads!

Granado Espada: Bahia Island - now with your choice of torrents included!

IAHGames announcement on the patch download

Official IAHGames torrent download. This one goes through BitTorrent. Warning, though, this download is a bit slow.

Secondary torrent download from Granadosource. Much faster than the official one.

Activate the official torrent by double-clicking on it; or activate the secondary torrent by loading it into your preferred torrent client.

Remember: be nice and help seed the torrents, whichever one you picked to download from!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Colony Wars update: was that a CW at all?

The current world map of Granado Espada in Cervantes server. Except perhaps for a slight ruckus in the Rio Albi area [the colony changed hands several times], not much has changed this week.

Maybe people are still trying to absorb the news about GE going F2P? I don't know, but today's Colony Wars session was extremely quiet and actually uneventful.

With those descriptors in mind, here is the understandably short list of factions that declared war on each other.

MaFiaCLuB™ v GuardsOfHonour - truced. This war was declared shortly before the start of the Colony Wars session.
Illuminati v Halcyon
MaFiaCLuB™ v Apathy - truced
Halcyon v Fenrir
GuardsOfHonour v Apathy - truced
Kanak²Riang v MaFiaCLuB™
Vradical v Halcyon - truced. This was a practice war only as the two factions are allied.
GuardsOfHonour V Fukkatsu


Notes from WrathOfGod:

Since we already had three colonies, the faction turned to all-out defense mode for this week's session. Defending squads were dispatched to the Ferruccio Junction, El Lago de Tres Hermanas, and Pradera de Ceniza, with one more squad as the mobile backup and allies' assist team.

I was sent to help defend the colony at the Ferruccio Junction, in normal CW sessions usually the first colony to be hit by attackers. As I was not yet at Veteran level, my primary task was to buff and to revive fallen allies.

CW time came and we all hunkered down, thinking we might get attacked at any moment....

Except the enemy never actually materialized.

With nothing to do for the entire CW session, my squad at the Ferruccio Junction decided to have some fun with all of our ambers and spinelles - by using them all up!

Kickin' it with the Phobitan Chieftains [sounds like a sports team!]:

T-Rex [x2]! We fought at least four of these:

This was the second or third Grim Reaper that got summoned:

Some other WrathOfGod members killed the time by getting in some PvP practice, doing missions, and even Baroning each other. [I saw at least two of those latter duels in my own squad.]

This week was uneventful and we still don't know why. Here's hoping next week will bring some real action.


Shout-out to the FallenAngels faction, some of whose members I met yesterday at Hataw Hanep Hero 2007.


And, because I haven't posted any new pics of my main team lately:


Because I picked up some lovely recipes for VERY high-level polearms, I decided to have Tuon level her Blandir Cruz stance. Since the only relevant weapon I've got for her current level is a Broom, she and Chimal wind up looking like a partly-matched set, especially with those dresses. Those two are pretty amusing.

Next costume change by Christmas with the advent of Bahia Island [yeesh, I have to buy FOUR swimsuits!]; and next armor change soon, I hope, when all three make Level 72.