Thursday, January 31, 2008

A comment on current IAHGames events

So there's a new in-game event called Project Hostile Takeover, in which Level 52 elite equipment and some random other stuff are up for grabs from the GMs - but only if you've got enough Hrin Potions to finance your auction madness.

Not to mention Win a Date with a [GM]!, in which you vote for your favorite GM by deluging him/her in the premium item Heart Chocolate.

Now, I understand the profit motive and that IAHGames needs money in order to keep the game running - but really, we get the hint already! Too many promotions that center too heavily on too many G-Points in a row can be a wee bit off-putting for those who aren't exactly flush with real-world cash to begin with.

Here are my suggestions regarding the overdependence on G-Points - really, IAH must not rely on G-Points alone as a means of revenue. This addiction might turn away new players from the game.

Make the prices of items in the Premium Item Shop CHEAPER.
Because lower prices means not only affordability for the average Granado Espada player, but may also contribute to a rebalancing of the in-game economy, which in all servers is a little too top-heavy at present. That is, everything is selling for far too much because the items are being concentrated in the hands of players who have both money *and* vis to burn. Affordable premium items might help balance that out.

I've been campaigning for more premium items to cost below 500 G-Points since last year.

Plan events that EVERYONE can join in - and NOT just those with G-Points.
What ever happened to the events from the Beta Tests? What happened to encouraging the community to come up with its own events with GM sanction and IAH support? Fine, the upcoming Chinese New Year events won't all be so G-Points heavy, but where are the frequent and fun goings-on in the community? GMs must encourage the players more in this regard - and take the lead in making up G-Points-free events to revitalize and enliven the community.

Consider this a challenge from someone who's hosted a few in-game events already - NONE of which ever demanded premium items as a price of entry, let me emphasize.

UPDATE And after I wrote this entry, IAH went ahead and put up yet another premium-item-eating, game-imbalancing "event". *sarcastic applause*

~rant ends

Level 84 get~

Yay Level 84 at long last! Now I can use that wonderful gift of an Elite Ring Mail, and enjoy new weapons and armor!

Aurana the full-support scout.

Tuon the polearm fighter.

[DeSanggria, I wish I could say she looks like me ^^]

Chimal the grounded wizard.

NineMoons on Cervantes represent~

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Love, Me


This picture, and the following video, are for the man of my life - Rosso.

What I've been up to these days, and what I'm doing today

Been busy over the past week or so, attending to some real-life concerns, but I was able to sneak in some time to continue leveling my mains in Cervantes server. So here's a quick rundown of what happened to them last week.

Helped out during a couple of Vergo the Cursed raids. I squadded up with some mates from WrathOfGod for this one. We were all wiped during the first raid and I spent the face-down time chatting merrily with my squad and with some of the other dead families. Mainly I sent just my scout to help with ressing and buffing duties, hence only Aurana appears as a character.

Did a couple of Interchange Level 4 missions. Botched both, though, even with a high-powered squad [and me the only non-veteran in the group]. Need moar tactics AND levels, obviously XD

Bought my girls eyeglasses! This picture does not include the two pairs of specs I picked up for my female elementalist - the lucky girl scored both the Beach Sunglasses and the normal Eyeglasses as drops from the Eyewear boxes I bought.


Today I'll be working a little, and I'll also finally be putting up my Love, Me contest entry, so watch out for that ^^

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Colony Wars update: Triple X Triple

The results of tonight's Colony Wars session in Cervantes.

If this map looks familiar to you, that's because it's the same as last week's. The triple alliance of Halcyon, Vradical and WrathOfGod turned all their efforts to defense this week - and were all successful in their shared endeavors.

I call this report "Triple X Triple" because the Halc-Vrad-WoG alliance came under serious fire this week from a new group of factions that have banded together; this group consists of BlackSociety, Illuminati, and Cupid factions.

As Halc-Vrad-WoG had already been at war with one or the other of the challenging factions over the past two weeks, there were no declarations of war made against either BlackSociety or Illuminati. There were only two declarations made during tonight's session:

Cupid v WrathOfGod - truced. This war was declared shortly before the session started.
Vradical v Cupid - truced.


Notes from WrathOfGod:

With seven colonies to defend, it was no wonder the Faction Message [seen upon logging in and changing maps] for tonight ran along the lines of "full defense tonight" or something like that. We formed four squads that would share defense duties among all seven of our colonies, with the usual arrangement that should one defending squad find itself overwhelmed, the other squads would, within reason, warp over to assist.

We'd had that arrangement already up during defense times, and today I had a slightly niggling feeling that we were seriously going to need it.

I signed up to help defend at the Bonavista River colony, the same as last week, and warped in to find several friends already in position. Two of our players who owned veteran Vikis also joined the group, and some of the faction heads dropped in from time to time to check in on us.

Colony Wars time approached and I groaned out loud when Cupid declared war on us, as they had also been harassing us at Bonavista during the previous week's session. By the time the declaration was in effect, about five minutes before game time, a whole squad full of Cupid attackers were hovering around our colony. One scout even booby-trapped the surrounding area of the colony tower with various traps! [Luckily the traps were dispelled in time.]

At the immediate start of the session, the invaders from Cupid fell upon our defending squad, and this time they brought a LOT of backup - squads from Illuminati and BlackSociety, including some of their leaders!

Chaos reigns at the Bonavista River colony.

Viki once again proved his worth - the above picture features a Level 10x Steel Ararat assisting the defense. It momentarily fought the Treasure Golem in the background as well. [And it goes without saying that Viki kept up his "reputation" for lagging, affecting friends and foes alike XD]

However, you might have noticed all the fallen allies and defenders in the same picture. We had to call for backup from not only the other defending squads but also the allied factions of Halcyon and Vradical.

At one point my squad leader commented that roughly a fourth of the server's online players at the time had converged on our colony. And that, folks, is a LOT of people.

With reinforcements helping bolster the defense, the colony was kept safely in our possession. [Thanks to everyone who showed up!]

More Steel Ararat action, but with allies up this time ^^

This was a pretty interesting session, with lots of action in the first half and sporadic skirmishes in the second. We had actually braced ourselves for last-minute surges but encountered none.

Next week will see the colonies wiped of their previous owners and all up for grabs again. With a new group of three factions coming up against the established partnership of Halc-Vrad-WoG, expect fierce fighting and lots of interesting news coming your way then.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

NineMoons talks about: ASA.

Previously in this series:

NineMoons talks about: CHICKSILOG.


Not too long ago, the remnants of several all-Filipino factions such as Anonymous and CARNAGE formed a new group that went around calling itself ASA. Ostensibly, this particular acronym stood for the "All-Star Alliance" of the two former factions, referring to the many famous and infamous characters now collected under that single banner.

Of course, to us Filipinos though, that faction name meant something else: only the one term of derision that gets most overused nowadays. It has always made me wonder if they picked the faction name deliberately, knowing it would be the equivalent of throwing down a gauntlet to everyone else who could understand it.

"Asa", in Filipino, is a verb roughly translating to "hope" / "dream" [the verbs, not the nouns]. Thus the representative "asa" expression,

Asa ka pa,

translates to the English

Dream on.

On the positive side, a person who says

Asa pa ako

is really saying

I can dream, can't I?

Someone who asks to "borrow" some of your gear - when you know they may not be planning to return said equipment - can be rebuffed with


and the meaning will be

I'm on to you and no way you're borrowing my stuff.

For ASA faction, their name could be taken as a big challenge, and mean:

Dream on - you will not be able to defeat us.

A somewhat funny real-life usage of "asa" might be said by the lovelorn one who wants to let the object of their dreams know that they even exist, and is told by his friends,

Asa ka pa....


That person's way out of your league, dream on....

As you might have figured out by now were you paying attention whenever the "broad wars" start up, everyone in the Philippines who plays online games uses, abuses, and misuses Asa ka pa. We use it to mock others, to express unattainable wishes, to express negation. Like a lot of our colloquial terms, one word can mean lots of things.

So keep that in mind the next time you see the word "asa" on the broads.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Pantsing the community, or not?

So about 10 minutes ago the server started broadcasting the warning to log out before maintenance.

There's an ad hoc maintenance today in order to fix the bug that has been plaguing the missions since last week or so.

Boy, you should've seen the whinging all over the place. People were asking for compensation!

I don't always have sympathy for the support staff at IAH [because there are still quite a few problems that need solving and that have been ignored, such as abusing the bot reports, the continuing proliferation of RMT and bots, etc etc], but right at that moment, I did.

Imagine, they have a chance to respond to the community's need to have the missions fixed - and that same community they were trying to help goes up in arms against this TERRIBLE and OPPRESSIVE sudden maintenance? Boy, the support staff are caught between a rock and a hard place - the people who want bugs fixed RIGHT THE F*** NOW and complain bitterly about it, complain even MORE when the servers are temporarily stopped to implement those same bug fixes!

And when I asked via broads if people were actually looking at the official website where this maintenance had been scheduled since at least 0400 Singapore time, people called me a nerd for checking the GAME'S OFFICIAL SITE daily!

[Oooooh, so looking at the schedules for my favorite game makes me a nerd~ Lookie the widdle complainers....]

...Oh, whingers and name-callers. Never change. It's fun to laugh.

Grace Bernelli and the Art of Dying

This post is dedicated to DeSanggria, who receives certain SMS on her mobile phone to the dulcet tones of Grace Bernelli.

Grace Bernelli

Grace Bernelli, formerly of the Brestian Army, Intelligence Officer, member of the Special Forces. Gunsmith, sniper, riflewoman, pistolero, shotgun user. A favorite character of many Granado Espada players, and an RNPC who often gets the spotlight in promotional images and posters.

What is it about her that drives people crazy?

Maybe it's in something that she says: "Ars Moriendi", a Latin expression that translates as "the art of dying". I know, it sounds morbid, but bear with me. [Besides, she said it - I didn't.]

"Ars Moriendi" was originally the title of two books written in the 15th century; the first one was the long version entitled Tractatus artis bene moriendi [alternatively, Speculum artis bene moriendi]. This book was comprised of six chapters.

The second Ars Moriendi book was a condensed version of the second chapter of the Tractatus.

Both books talk in some detail about how "to die well" within a Christian tradition, and had their backgrounds in the Black Death, which took place some 60 years earlier, and the consequent upheavals in society. They became the first in a long Western literary tradition of guides to death and dying, providing their readers with the protocols, rites and rituals associated with a "proper" death, that is, one that has a right outcome as set forth by Christian orthodoxy.

More information on Ars Moriendi at Wikipedia.

As I read up on Ars Moriendi, I thought about those parts of Grace's life story that I've read so far [and inasmuch as I have not yet completed her pioneering quests], and decided that her outlook in life tended to be a blend of the samurai and of the soldier.

As a member of a specialist unit, she may have been sent on missions that were more dangerous than most, or those that ordinary soldiers were simply not qualified for, or those that carried extreme risks.

As a defeated combatant, she was subjected to oppression by the victors - and it was apparently so bad that she had to flee to the New World.

As a former intelligence officer, she undertook solo investigation missions into some of the wrongs of Granado Espada, going on perilous quests to the Tetra Ruins and to Prison de Joaquin, and going up against some powerful enemies in the process.

Maybe her version of the art of dying involves heroism, honor, and uncovering even the most dangerous truths. She would think that dying in the line of duty would constitute a good death. But before she gets to that point, she wants to have done all the good that she can.

So maybe for Grace, Ars Moriendi is a guide to both life - an honorable and truthful one - and death - one in which she remains true to her ideals.

And that's not a bad thing to live for.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Colony Wars update: If this isn't the power of three.....

Okay. Your Colony Wars reporter for Granado Espada's Cervantes server is back in the saddle and ready to dish out this week's results from a wild and woolly session!

Here are the results from tonight's struggles:


One faction that used to hold colonies has been wiped off the map, leaving the allied factions of Halcyon, Vradical, and WrathOfGod to own all the colonies this week.

A wipeout like this did not come easily, though, and a whole bunch of factions both old and new joined the fray. Before the session proper began, the following factions declared war on each other:

CutieGardeN v Illuminati
Cupid v WrathOfGod
Insomnia v WrathOfGod
CutieGardeN v Nostalgia
MyGE v WrathOfGod - truced
CuteiGardeN v WrathOfGod
Vradical v MyGE - truced
Halcyon v MyGE - truced

Once the war announcement went out over the server, the following declarations were made:

Ëxpendable•Ýouth v Halcyon - truced
Cupid v Vradical - truced
DeAthNoTe™ v BlackGranados
Illuminati v GuardsOfHonour - truced
BlackSociety v GuardsOfHonour - truced
GuardsOfHonour v Vradical
Halcyon v GuardsOfHonour
WrathOfGod v GuardsOfHonour
GrandLodge v GuardsOfHonour
CutieGardeN v Vradical

Like I said above: this was one session where everybody mixed it up. Both GuardsOfHonour and WrathOfGod found themselves facing lots of attackers, but there were very different results for the two factions.

IMPORTANT NOTE This list may not be complete; I may have missed some war declarations. If I have, please correct me in the comments and I will update the list, with credits to you. Thanks.


Notes from WrathOfGod:

We had been informed, over the past week, that this session would be important as the leaders had received intelligence that several factions would try to wrest away our six colonies. Therefore, we were required to show up for this session - first time for me since joining last year.

After bouncing between a couple of defender squads, I joined squad leader Inazuki and his team at the Bonavista River colony. Here's a picture of the group as we slowly all got ourselves organized:

Buffs, cannons, and veterans aplenty, oh my.

Within the first minute of the session starting, our squad at Bonavista was hit by a handful of high-powered members of Cupid faction. My team got wiped in the very first skirmish! But our defenders managed to beat them off. The Cupid attackers would return regularly to the colony, managing to hit the pillar a couple of times but mainly there to try and kill us all.

Our Ferruccio Junction and Via Fluvial colonies also received more than their share of attackers - at one point the FJ defenders reported that ALL of Illuminati faction had congregated there, and the Via colony got hit intermittently throughout the session. The FJ defenders suffered under the onslaught of several Vikis summoning their pets [and causing lots of lag], but were able to beat them back with valiant efforts.

As you can see from the list above, we faced foes both old and new this week, and nearly all of us who were online during the session got to fight.

One of the main points of this week's Colony Wars was the erasure of GuardsOfHonour faction from the colony owners' list. Apparently the faction had bolted the alliance it had previously shared with Halcyon, Vradical, and WrathOfGod. They fell short of their goal of snatching the allied factions' colonies away - far short enough that the alliance took all of their colonies instead.

Our share of that came to the colony in Porto Bello Deserted Quay; while Vradical and Halcyon divided the majority of the former GuardsOfHonour colonies between themselves.

The result? A Granado Espada whose colonies are divided equally between three factions.

...Or at least that's going to be the case until the first week of February and the usual colony reset.

Until next week, then, when we find out what happens as the alliance hunkers down to defend the colonies.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Getting ready for the Year of the Rat!


Aren't these wonderful hong bao just shiny? There seems to be a contest underway to give these to some lucky pioneers! Watch out at RCM Hrin's blog for the details!

UPDATE There are two contests for the Chinese New Year and Valentines' Day, check them out with their sweet prizes:

The E-Card Challenge! - stand a chance to win 2 sets of hong bao!
Love, Me - stand a chance to win a pair of specially designed GE t-shirts AND a pair of Le Blanc armors!

These contests are related, as you can see from the mechanics ^^

Plus, the much-awaited data on Feng Ling!

I should really pick up one of those rat stuffed toys and dress it up, Granado Espada style ^^


Update: just made 8x today, and I have the armor to prove it:


Family - NineMoons in Cervantes
Members - Aurana, full support scout / Tuon, polearm specialist / Chimal, landbound wizard
Levels - 8x / 8x / 8x

Next goal is 84 - and then all three of them will be sporting nonstandard hairstyles, customization FTW!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Open Comments Thread: The Soundbox

But before I get into that, have some official announcements about Chinese New Year, Valentines' Day, and RNPCs from RCM Hrin:

Feng Ling, new greeting cards, new RNPC costumes, Tierra de los Muertos, and upcoming holiday events!


I've got a few household chores to attend to during today's maintenance, and I will most likely be doing the work to the bouncy, infectious tune of Phynn's "Close Encounter" musical track. Those of you who do a lot of missions might recognize this as the background music.

So, that inspired me a little, and now I have a question for all of you who are looking for some way to kill the time till maintenance ends:

What is your absolute top favorite musical track from the Granado Espada soundtrack - and why?

Comments are open, though still moderated.

Hope to hear from all of you!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

How to piss NineMoons off

...I would normally include "insisting I'm a guy when I've said I'm a girl over and over again" in this, but some people don't want to let go of their cherished notion that "there are no girls on the Internet or in MMOs".

But here's a sure-fire way to get me mad:

Report me as a botter.

I had that happen to me just now. Luckily I managed to type in the verification code in time, and got this:

bot verification

The gray text in the chat box shows that I have successfully verified my identity as an actual player and not as a bot. The incident took place around 1040 Singapore time, in Channel 1 of the Prison de Joaquin, The Mohrgus.

DON'T try me, guys.

Tearing my hair out on the way to 8x.

*Looks mournfully at item vault*

*Still missing my 30k G-points prize*

I've been trying to do a big push for my mains on Cervantes, who are currently at level 78. I kind of had the crazy idea of maybe making 84 or so in the next couple of weeks - or at least in enough time for the next change of armors, weapons, and accessories.

The crates in Prison de Joaquin, however, all seem hell-bent *against* the idea. They keep spawning on my poor wiz and killing her before she can finish casting her AoEs, and leaving my scout unprotected so she gets bricked too.

On top of that, I'm missing a crapload of Viki Strange Items, a Mysterious Steel Piece, and a Capybara Sickle.

I just want to make 80 soon!


On the other hand, I'm pleasantly surprised that I've picked up some nice uniques from the Prison. They're nifty things to have in storage.

Monday, January 14, 2008

NineMoons goes to Philippine Online Gaming Summit 2008

WARNING: Lots of pictures. For browsers' sake I've tried to put up smaller thumbnails of the pics. Please visit the Photobucket album where they're all archived here.

Okay, here's my excuse for not going to Colony Wars last night: I spent nearly the entire day at a mall called TriNoma, covering one of the year's first gaming events: the Philippine Online Gaming Summit. I sort of had an obligation to go to this one, since I work for Game! Magazine and they were the ones who put this whole shebang together.

Malls in my country normally open at 10am, but I bluffed my way in an hour earlier. Technically, I'm part of Game! staff so I pretty much had a good reason to come in early.

The first booth on the right at the entrance turned out to be that of IP e-Games, and they were setting up as I arrived. pCM Veya was thinking about playing the FFA films Not Another Love Story?, Lonely Hearts Club II, and Relapse on the flatscreen monitors strung up around the booth.

POGS01, by NineMoons

POGS02, by NineMoons
Booth set-up.

Opening time and everyone at the venue - the central activity area of TriNoma - got ready for the influx of gamers, cosplayers, and the just plain curious. The price of admission was a copy of either the Nov 2007 or the Dec 2007-Jan 2008 issues, and the latter were being sold at the gate for those who hadn't got their copies yet. Gamers lined up for entrance and immediately swarmed the game outfits' booths.

[CRUMMY entrance procedure though. Filling out forms before letting people in for the lose. Also, why were the Game! servers down for the weekend?]

In front of the stage were several cordoned-off areas hosting about a couple dozen high-end Intel PCs each. These were the free-play/tournament areas where all the games at the show could be tried on for size. The IP e-Games/Granado Espada portion was located at front right, facing the stage.

POGS03, by NineMoons
The GE area. Nice machines, eh?

Soon after the program started I ran into DeSanggria, and when we came back from breakfast we promptly gathered up Darrick and Nate of Casa Reclusion, Fiksdotter, and Mena. Another of the early arrivals was Charles/Device. Later on, we ran into Sigrid, and MUCH later on, Alex Crosse. After lunch we also saw the arrival of the AdeptasFraternas contingent, led by none other than their faction leader Welling.

[Whew, that's a lot of link love =3]

POGS04, by NineMoons
Left to right: DeSanggria, Darrick, Mena, NineMoons, Device, Veya, Nate, and Fiksdotter.

POGS05, by NineMoons
The Bahia Island banner that marked the GE PC area.

POGS06, by NineMoons
Left to right: Device, NineMoons, Darrick, Fiksdotter, Mena, Sigrid, Anne, Nate, and Blacksword.

POGS07, by NineMoons
NineMoons, DeSanggria and Sigrid strike a pose.

POGS08, by NineMoons
Left to right: Blacksword, Nate, Darrick, Mena, Fiksdotter, Device, and Fiksdotter's friend.

DeSanggria got the tech crew to play the FFA film entries on stage after lunch: first came Not Another Love Story?, then Lonely Hearts Club II [and Nate, Darrick and Fiksdotter indulged in several mock squabbles over the subtitles while we were watching], and then Relapse late in the afternoon.

[Not nice that that movie was played so late, after its creators had left! They should have simply run all three films together instead of sticking to whatever list they had!]

After the cosplay event we had the PvP tournament. Several teams of two signed up to play [the Reclusion brothers made one team, and Fiksdotter and Mena another], but in the end, the Welling and •™ families emerged victorious.

POGS09, by NineMoons
Fiksdotter and Mena get into battle mode.

POGS10, by NineMoons
The Reclusion brothers prepare for PvP.

POGS11, by NineMoons
Team Welling and •™ on the way to the championship.

Finally, as the events of the day wound down, all of us remaining bloggers ran off to ToastBox for a round of drinks and some very interesting things to talk about.

POGS12, by NineMoons
Left to right: DeSanggria, NineMoons, Mena, Nate, Darrick and Fiksdotter.

It was a great day full of bonding and friendship - and Granado Espada too!

For more about POGS, please visit the following blogs:
Casa Reclusion: POGS 2k8 Photo Story
Fiksdotter's Box: Post Philippine On-line Gaming Summit (POGS)
Tales from Granado Espada: The Philippine Online Gaming Summit (POGS) 2008 event
Tres Mujeres: [Picspam Aftermath] POGS 2008 + Thoughts on CW
Diario el Familia Sigrid: Sigrid Invades POGS 2008!
Lady Veya's Musings: Aftermath: POGS 2008
The Deniva Chronicles: The Philippine Online Gaming Summit

Colony Wars update: the sheer lack of it

13Jan08 CW, by Granadosource

Colony Wars results for Cervantes server on 13 January 2008, as captured by Granadosource.

Why wasn't I covering Colony Wars? Because I was covering the Philippine Online Gaming Summit at TriNoma. I'm currently uploading the pictures and will be posting about the event shortly.

Your regular CW coverage for Cervantes resumes next week.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Philippine Online Gaming Summit - tomorrow!

pogs poster

Tomorrow, people~

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Props, POGS, and...Dark Horse Award~

Whoa, I've been blogging nearly every day since the New Year began... @.@ [and I'm still sick at the moment *facepalm*]


Anyway. Mad mad props go to Darrick and Nate of Casa Reclusion, as between them the boys have swept a lot of machinima-related awards. Just look at this list of wins:

Darrick's workshop entry took second place in the Intel Machinimasia Workshop Best of Show awards [and got an iPod OMG!].

And Nate's entry
, Wonderful New World, won first place in the Community's Choice Awards!

Watch Wonderful New World

Between them, Darrick and Nate took home not one but TWO awards from the Fantazzztic Film Awards' Seagate Scene and Heard Week.

Their movie with
Fiksdotter, Lonely Hearts Club II, took first place [and will now be competing in the Grand Finale Week]. Oooh they got the hard drives~

Watch Lonely Hearts Club II

And their movie with me, Not Another Love Story?, won the first Dark Horse Award of the FFA. That Bracelet of Three Kings is making me want to train up my elementalist!

[Does that mean we'll have to resubmit that one for the Grand Finale week?

UPDATE No need. It's already shortlisted for the Grand Finale as well. Thanks, Hrin.]

Watch Not Another Love Story?

That's a lot of prizes, guys~ Congratulations! We're not worthy! *bows down*

Intel winners are here: Intel Machinima Awardees

Seagate Scene and Heard winners are here: Winners of Seagate Scene and Heard Week

Good job, all.


Anyone interested in joining this?


Rules at pCM Veya's blog.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Picspam: presents to start the New Year right

I've got a bit of a sick day today and am not feeling well. I'll try to log in to Granado Espada later, but I really want to rest and recover because I've got a hectic four days starting tomorrow. So, mostly screenshots today. If you're on dialup, please be patient and wait for the pictures to load.

I got a very welcome surprise in my email yesterday: a belated set of in-game Christmas presents, from a very kind and mysterious benefactor! ^^ They were very welcome and I'm very grateful for receiving them.

First up, a Lv84 Elite Ring Mail - before and after I did the +4:



I also received a Blue Samurai Costume for my female fighter Tuon.

She looks smashing! Now if only I had my faction mate's luck and could find that matching Samurai Helmet, and those flags for her back.... ^^

UPDATE Oops. I didn't know that the Samurai Helmet was for guys only, and that the Samurai Flags were for gals only. Thanks to Mena for the correction!

Thank you so much to my mysterious benefactor, for these and the other presents ^^


Next, some plugging from the Shameless Self-Promotion Department. The December 2007-January 2008 issue of Game! Magazine is out, and as usual, here are the covers.

Front cover:

And the OTHER front cover, which you can view by turning the issue over and around:
Ooh shiny~!

I repeat, that's NOT an alternative cover; the issue really does have two front covers.

The image of the elementalist, fighter, and Angie forms a really nifty "lid" for a special IP e-Games supplement to the issue. Contents are:

- brief GE updates for the October-December events
- Dance Battle Audition's The Next Showdown patch
- Hellgate: London's character classes
- spotlight on GE's Premium Item Mall

As you might have figured out while reading the two GE articles, the deadline fell way before 20 December - therefore there are no details about Witches of Bahamar / Bahia Island, and many of the new items on offer at the Item Mall are missing.

Either this issue or the November one [cover shown below] will serve as your ticket to Sunday's Philippine Online Gaming Summit at TriNoMa.


Hope to see you all there~

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A visit to the Cite de Reboldoeux smith

Something odd I've noticed in my travels through Granado Espada is the phenomenon of people paying needlessly high prices for some items. The ones I'm thinking of are the metal-type forging materials Steel Piece, Composite Steel and Cast Iron. Some players pay upwards of 10k per piece for the latter two items - and that's expensive, given you can actually make those items by yourself!

That's right. Here's my quick guide to helping you save some money on those all-important metal items.

First, you need to take some very low-leveled characters in your barracks. Take, say, an experienced scout [any level over 20 will do], and perhaps those newly-acquired Angie, Viki, or Catherine RNPCs of yours. Since all of those start out at really low levels, you can both train them, and use them to farm some handy drops for you.

[The experienced scout is a personal preference of mine, but there's no reason why you shouldn't try this with a Level 1 scout.]

Use Cite de Reboldoeux as your save point, and make sure you know where the Smith NPC is - he's at one end of the shopping street, opposite the Consumable Items Merchant and the Bullet Dispenser.

To level up your fledgling team, hit the Reboldoeux Stone Pit and farm for Copper Pieces.

There seems to be a craze for those right now in Cervantes server, and Vet-level players are paying well for these. Can anyone tell me why? Also save up your Copper Pieces for the quests to get Viki's Amicus stance book - you're going to need around 200, so farm for them here.

Once the members have hit level 10 or so, move to the Al Quelt Moreza dungeon and hang out in the Nartex for the next 10 levels or so. Keep all of the Iron Pieces you get here.

When you've built up a good stock of the Iron and Copper Pieces, head back to Cite de Reboldoeux, and drop those items off in your Item Vault. Proceed to the King's Garden to farm for Bulk Coal items. You're going to need a lot of these.

Alternatively, you can kick Dilos Latemn's ass, and get into the Arcade of Al Quelt Moreza to collect Bulk Coal items.

When you've reached level 20-25, change maps to the Tetra Hill. The Phobitan Imps here drop a steadier supply of Steel Pieces, which you can add to your growing stockpile.

[And if you haven't got Viki yet, then farm for Cabosses here too!]

By the time you've leveled up enough to enter the Tetra Ruins, you should have collected a large amount of Steel Pieces and Bulk Coal. Now you can craft a supply of Steel Pieces, Composite Steel or Cast Iron items with the help of the Smith.

To make 1 Steel Piece, give the Smith 1 Iron Piece and 1 Bulk Coal.

To make 1 Composite Steel, give the Smith 5 Steel Pieces and 1 Bulk Coal.

To make 1 Cast Iron, give the Smith 4 Steel Pieces and 1 Copper Piece.

Repeat this process as needed in order to make sure you never run short of those important forging items - which you can now use to build those high-level weapons!

Oh, and when you have enough levels for Prison de Joaquin, you can also farm Composite Steel in Altar of Despair, the second floor of the dungeon.

In the next post:
Belated, but very much welcome, holiday presents~!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Today's assorted dribs and drabs

Granado Espada events in the Philippines this week

12 January - IP e-Games Evolution goes to SM Megamall. Stay tuned for more details on this one - I just got the heads-up from Ms. Ivee the other day. It's not yet on the IP e-Games main site either, but I'm guessing it will soon be.

UPDATE Oops, this Saturday gig is off. Got official word from Ms. Ivee. Please update your calendars appropriately.

13 January - Philippine Online Gaming Summit at TriNoMa, hosted by Game! Magazine. IP e-Games will be hosting special Granado Espada-themed events at this one. Get a chance to win a Nintendo Wii or a complete gaming PC rig. Your copy of either the November 2007 or the December 2007-January 2008 issues of Game! Magazine serves as your ticket to enter this gaming event.

...I'll be at both, LOL. See you there.

A quick training session for two of my Cervantes alts


While continuing the many item-gathering quests for Viki, I decided to take two of my favorite RNPCs out for a spin with my scout: Shahnti, my Grace Bernelli; and Ichigiku, my Adelina Esperanza. After a few hours of grinding, the picture above is the result.

Family information:
Team - NineMoons in Cervantes
Levels - 77 / 36 / 37
Members - Aurana, full support scout / Shahnti, double-pistol Grace Bernelli / Ichigiku, double-sabre Adelina Esperanza

I blew a lot of money on those weapons XD - they're all uniques!

Props from RCM Hrin

Read RCM Hrin's thoughts on her stay in WrathOfGod faction here.

We were all so happy for her on Boxing Day when she finally made vet ^^

In the next post:
How to make some of the needlessly expensive metal-based forging items!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Colony Wars update: a fresh start - and new struggles!

No results were released for last night's Beta elections, natch, but isn't it exciting to think that the imminent elections, the colony reset, and the New Year have combined to bring Colony Wars in Cervantes server back to life?

Here's the map of Granado Espada in said server, after tonight's action-packed Colony Wars session:


Congratulations to WrathOfGod, GuardsOfHonour, Vradical, and Halcyon factions for acquiring and defending their colonies!

Special mention should also be made for, among others, new factions such as Ragnarok, LeGend™ph, and EclipseosUmbra; and Illuminati faction, who have made a comeback!

Here's the list of factions which declared war on each other; lines marked "truced" mean the truce was declared during the actual CW period.

Vradical v DCArebirth™ - truced, then re-declared war
LeGend™ph v Vradical - truced
EclipseosUmbra v Vradical - truced
EclipseosUmbra v Fukkatsu
EclipseosUmbra v Cupid
GrandLodge v Ragnarok
FallenAngels v Ragnarok
MyGE v WrathOfGod
WrathOfGod v Ragnarok
Illuminati v GuardsOfHonour - truced
GuardsOfHonour v Ragnarok - truced
EclipseosUmbra v Ragnarok - truced
GuardsOfHonour v DCArebirth™ - truced
LeGend™ph v GuardsOfHonour - truced
Requiem v Vradical - truced
Requiem v GuardsOfHonour - truced
WrathOfGod v GuardsOfHonour - truced
GuardsOfHonour v Illuminati
KauBaBiJue v Vradical

[This list may be incomplete - I might have missed some declarations and/or truces because I was warping between colonies. If I have missed anything, please comment and I'll update, with full credit to you. Thanks~ ^^]


Notes from WrathOfGod:

As this session followed the first colony reset of the year, the faction were all ordered to get ready to attack the following target colonies: Scorching Plateau, El Canon de Diabolica, Via Fluvial, Topolo Durga, Bonavista River, and Ferruccio Junction. The first five colonies were of higher priority.

The veterans assembled into two squads for both attack and defense; while the non-veterans were grouped into one squad. As my main team is Level 77, I had to join the latter team, which was first instructed to take the colony at El Canon de Diabolica.

And who said this one would be easy, when scouts from Illuminati faction were spotted on that map even as the Colony Wars began?

WrathOfGod holding at El Canon, just before the Colony Wars.

WrathOfGod v Illuminati, and the opponents brought a Takion to the party! [It's the big shape next to the colony spire.]

The Takion brings its backup, a Steel Ararat. Both summons were Level 101 or so, controlled by a vet Viki.

Speaking of which, that kid is going to be a major factor in CW, I can feel it. His "pets" bring tremendous damage and hella lag - sure things to tick off one's opponents!

Our squad got wiped and Illuminati took possession of the colony; we were then ordered to regroup at Bonavista River, and help the attacking team already there to take out the colony.

Assault on the Bonavista colony.


In the meantime, the vet squads had already taken over the colonies at Scorching Plateau, Topolo Durga, and Via Fluvial. With the initial colonies taken, we all returned to El Canon en masse, and went after the Illuminati defenders with a vengeance.

I can't remember whose side that Treasure Golem was on, but it sure helps make an impressive screenshot.

UPDATE Commenter DarkSurferio [a fellow WrathOfGod member] confirms that the Treasure Golem was on our side. Thanks~!

We finally managed to retake El Canon from Illuminati. In the meantime, the veterans' squads had also managed to grab the Ferruccio Junction colony from Ragnarok faction, its initial owners - and that meant WrathOfGod had regained possession of the six colonies we'd had before the reset~

UPDATE I neglected to mention that previous to WrathOfGod taking over the Ferruccio Junction colony, it had been under the aegis of GuardsOfHonour faction. Thanks to commenter Eclipsing for pointing this out.

Over the course of the session, we all had to warp back from one occupied colony to another to help defend from would-be usurpers; in my case, I bopped back and forth between El Canon and Bonavista as the colonies were attacked again and again by Illuminati and MyGE factions, respectively.

If the elections had been "real" and not a beta test, our faction leader aLKayeL would now be the Chancellor of Granado Espada in Cervantes, as we have the most colonies right now ^^ It's a fun dream, and a goal to work towards come February [and the official start of the elections].

Job well done to all, and let's all meet up again next week for defense!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Beta Elections: waiting on the Cervantes results

There were Beta Elections slated tonight.

And half the population of Cervantes server had no clue of what was supposed to be going on.

Anyway, for those of you who were interested in the set of mechanics implemented for this Beta elections, read on.

The process of selecting the Republican President and the Royalist Duke can be broken down into two major steps: one for the faction leaders who can become candidates for those political positions; and one for the citizens of Granado Espada who can vote for their preferred candidates.

Step One: Declaring Candidacy
The only people who can declare candidacies are those who meet the following requirements: are faction leaders, lead Lv.52 factions, and have chosen a political party [Royalists or Republicans].

To declare his or her candidacy, the faction leader needs to wait for the announcement in purple in the chatbox below:

[Notice] The registration for elections has started! You can now register each party leader before the time period ends.

Next, the faction leader can file his or her papers for candidacy at his or her political party's headquarters: either the Reception Hall in Cite de Reboldoeux for the Royalists, or Villa de Libertad in Auch for the
Republicans. The leader must buy the Candidate Registration Form item from the party's Election Manager. This item costs 5M Vis and allows the leader to register as a candidate for his or her party's leadership.

In this picture, the Royalist Election Manager is on the right of Princess Gabriella.

The faction leader/candidate-to-be need merely follow the instructions given by the Election Manager in order to declare his or her candidacy.

Step Two: To the Polls!
To actually be able to vote, a family must be of at least Family Level 10 [press Alt+R to check], and have the Vote Paper / Ballot item. A family can vote even if they do not belong to a faction.

The item can only be obtained from the red-haired Election Support Guides, at least two of which can always be found in the towns, standing next to the Ballot Boxes.

The Ballot can only be obtained after the time period for registration of candidacies is finished, and it can only be used once per election.

Wait for the server announcement to begin voting, then speak with the Election Support Guide to pick up your Ballot. Then click on the ballot box of your choice, select your candidate, and click on the button marked "Vote for preferred..." [literally!] to drop your vote in.

After voting, families are encouraged to return to the Election Support Guide. As a reward for participating in the elections, the Guides will hand out 3 x Election Compensation Potion to each family that voted.

Level 15 buffs OMGWTFBBQ~!

Now, after this beta test in Cervantes server, a few comments and suggestions:

- The registration period for candidacies was too long in the server, maybe because only three faction leaders signed up: aLKayeL of WrathOfGod and Kazel of Halcyon for the Royalists, and That of Vradical for the Republicans. I wonder if the time period for declaring candidacies might be shortened, perhaps to 45 minutes?

- If everyone in one server were to vote, one hour at the polls might not be long enough. I suggest extending voting time to an hour and, say, 15 minutes.

- Some of us in WrathOfGod faction thought it might be nifty to be able to see the votes as they come in, rather as they do during live coverage of actual elections in the real world.

- A good suggestion that came by way of the server broadcasts was, give the candidates a chance to tell the voters why they should vote for them!

As the results in Cervantes have not yet been announced, I will try to update this post with the "winners" later.

Actual elections will be held on a regular basis beginning 2 February 2008.

Bloggers Team entry to the Fantazzztic Film Awards: Not Another Love Story?

There was a first teaser [Beautiful Girls / Suicidal], and a second teaser [Beautiful Girls Reply / I'll Never Go].

Now, sit back and grab the popcorn as Team Bloggers from Cervantes, Caracci and Caravaggio servers dishes up the final reveal of our Fantazzztic Film Awards entry to the Seagate "Scene & Heard" week:

Not Another Love Story?

Directed by Reclusion
Subtitles by Behringer
Script by NineMoons and DeSanggria
Special Participation by iCez


You can post your comments on this video at its official Movie Critics thread, Casa Reclusion, or here at my own blog.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Granado Espada: elections of the new world!

May I join my esteemed colleague DeSanggria in saying: squeeZOMGWTFBBQsquee!

Beta elections to nominate the Royalist Duke and Republican President are slated for this Saturday, 5 January, at 2000-2200 Singapore time! You may vote for faction leaders.

[Vote for aLKayeL of WrathOfGod in Cervantes server! XD]

Original implementing rules for the elections here, and my scoop of updates here.

Official beta elections announcement here, which also includes updates to the Christmas events and other developments.

New updates to the Item Mall include Eyewear Boxes. [Wow, what I'd give for some of those.]

And, My Bellem's Box items for January are two Plate Mail Costumes, 1 Blue Female Samurai Costume, and RNPC Idge the Battlesmith!

Wow! So is
this how the special cash shop RNPC cards will be released from now on? And it's Idge the Battlesmith to start off with, no less! It might just be time to make a very special request of my brother in Singapore...hee~!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Working today XD thank goodness it's maintenance

Today I'll be writing a quick FFA script for a friend, so I'm going to be a wee bit busy....

So I want to request something from you wonderful people instead.

Voting is now open for the Intel Machinimasia Community's Choice Awards and what do you know, my good friend Reclusion is there!

Here's the video he submitted, Wonderful New World:

Of course I'm promoting Reclusion because we're friends, but I also encourage you to look at ALL the entries, and to vote the one you like best! There are really good prizes up for grabs!

Vote here!

Working now! ^^ See you all soon

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Picspam: Andre Janzur came to town and all I got was lousy stuff!

I've tried to make all the pictures smaller to make loading this entry easier, but there are still a lot of screenshots involved! Please be patient, they're a big part of the story!

I had been thinking of skipping Andre Janzur is Coming to Town because I was in the tortuous grip of a migraine, but decided to log into Granado Espada after some encouragement from my partner Rosso.

I'm damn glad I listened to him, because I wouldn't have had so much fun otherwise!

The event was slated in Cervantes at 4pm Singapore time. When it began, I watched the exchange between Emilia, Hrin, Karjalainen, and several GMs over the airwaves with no small amount of trepidation, although I laughed out loud when a player's erroneous comment got smacked down in real time by one of the powers that be presiding over the event.

I started the event in Prison de Joaquin, The Mohrgus:

That's the first requested costume: Sugarplum Tutu for Catherine the Summoner. [And on the left side of the screen is the broad from the first "victim", Kulangot.]

Other members of WrathOfGod were prepping for the event and when one of our faction vice-leaders, MinistryOfLaw, suggested getting a squad together at the waypoint in Al Quelt Moreza, I jumped over to join her and Lunn:

There is strength in numbers - and the numbers of WrathOfGod at this spot only grew as the event went on.

Things started getting VERY interesting when the one and only Selva in Cervantes server showed up: none other, of course, than RCM Hrin!

MinistryOfLaw picked this map to make our stand because she figured the mobs here would be quite easy to handle, and would not pose additional problems to any bosses that should be summoned.

And when Emilia asked for the Bistre costume for Grace Bernelli, Lunn promptly called her attention - and here were the results:

A Diablo AND a Gerero, and a bunch of Treasure Skullic Footmen, oh my!

I wish I had been able to screencap Gerero roaring, NineMoons! I'm going to kill you! but the lag had just started at that point >.<

Another Selva/Hrin screenshot, this time with her name visible. She's on the lower right, next to the top of the chat box.

When Emilia asked for a Maid Costume and then for a Bear Costume, we got hit with more monsters! [I was wearing the two costumes in succession, both on my wizard.]

There's my broad about the Bear Suit, second to the last line!

One of the other monsters that got summoned on our steadily-growing squad was the Golden Spider, which you can see on the lower left of this screenshot:


And here's the final Diablo, spawned after Emilia called for Lucifer Wings:


Emilia called for the following costumes on Cervantes server [not in order, and possibly incomplete]:
Sugarplum Tutu - Catherine Summoner
Bedlah Costume - Lisa Lynway
Bistre Costume - Grace Bernelli
Maid Uniform - Female Wizard
Clara Mago - Stock Wizard
Raccoon Hat - Viki [corrected by arc]
Lucifer Wings - All Characters
Von Trapp Costume - Catherine of STR/INT/DEX
Ali Baba Costume - Alejandro
Bear Suit - Stock Characters
Swimsuit - Stock Characters
School Uniform - Stock Characters
Sheep-horn Hair - Female Elementalist
Noblesse Coat - M'boma
Crocodile Suit - Stock Characters

In all, WrathofGod faced the following boss monsters:
Golden Spider

**For these two lists: if I've missed something, let me know! I'll update, and credit you!**

By the way, I wish people would stop grousing about "favoritism" and such stuff. Some people got bosses at their position and some did not. Part of the reason is right in the rules of the event: You have to inform Emilia that you have the costume she wants, in the most creative way. There was even an example given in the rules! It was not enough just to say "I have X costume" - you had to do it in a fantazztic way!

Just look at Kulangot's broad in the first picture - he was the very first to get bosses spawned, and he had a great line for Emilia! I'm glad to say we WrathOfGod members managed to get in a few creative lines - and got bosses spawned right over our heads!

My complaints notwithstanding, this was a great way to begin the year: fun with WrathOfGod, pretty new costumes, big bosses, and an exciting event! Rock on!

...And can I just say, I am SO looking forward to Karjalainen's revenge!