Week Break

I will be taking a short break from posting this week so that I can work on my novels. I have decided to start writing despite the low quality, and work on something simple. So for one week, I will be focusing solely on that, and the following week, hopefully doing both.

Thank you for continuing to watch my blog!

Dragon Species: Firedrake

Red_dragonThe most famous of the dragon species is known as the Firedrake, which is rumoured to be the mother species of all dragons. While it was not the first discovered, it is the base structure of all dragons. It has two large wings, usually with thick skin to protect the flight membranes. It has four legs, in addition to wings, with large claws on the end, as well as scales to protect its skin. The scales have been used to make armour in the past that can withstand almost anything: fire, ice, and sword. The can be anywhere from six meters to sixty meters in length, and as much as five stories high.

Some of these species live in small groups, usually relatives; some live hermit-like lives, keeping away from humans and other dragons. However, the most common dwelling is usually a large cave in the mountains within easy flying distance of any human dwellings it may be ruling over. As with humans, firedrakes are all different, deciding how to live, whether to take a mate, or settle down with a family.

Most Firedrakes are vicious, known to hoard gems and gold. The reasons behind this is mostly because they love shiny things. Because gems and gold have a sparkle unmatched, they are drawn to them like nothing else. If a Firedrake happens upon a  village or town that has mines or is known for riches, it will attempt to take over or negotiate their surrender. However, if it is unable to do so because of human forces, it will simply burn as many human dwellings as possible before leaving. This action, if repeated, can eventually cause the humans to surrender and provide tithes in order to keep the village safe. In this fashion, some Firedrakes have been known to rule towns for many years before growing bored and leaving.

Some Firedrakes have been known to adopt a benevolent. but cautious, personality. Though it is rare, these Firedrakes have protected humans, though only when it served their goals, and have been the trump card in a few human conflicts. Their high intelligence makes them look down on humans most of them time, and at best, this benevolence stretches only to a “live and let live” situation.

Red Dragon” by Aggiorna  is licensed under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license.

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Bringing Back the Classics

Demonstrating_Kung_Fu_at_Daxiangguo_Monestary,_Kaifeng,_HenanFor the last few years, I have had an intense interest in Asian cultures: Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Korea. Most of my love is for China and Japan, and since I started playing swordsman, I did quite a bit of research into wuxia novels. If you don’t already know, wuxia refers to a genre of novels that were later made into kung fu movies. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a very popular member of this genre of movies, and chances are, this was originally presented in book format of a similar name.

With this in mind, I have decided to try my hand at making my own wuxia novel. I did a bit of research into The Smiling, Proud Wanderer, also know as The Swordsman, which has been remake many times over into movies and television shows. It appears the language in the novel is actually very simple. I’m not sure if this is because of translations, or that it is the style of the writing, but it makes it easier on my part for writing.

I tend to be very descriptive so the reader can see as much of what I see in my head. This means there is a huge area for me to work, not only including the classic kung fu scenes, but also getting to name special moves like “Falling Star Great Attack” that some fighters will shout when jumping into battle.

While getting started is hard, I’ve decided to go a little classic with this story. The tentative plot is that there is a strange jade dragon statue that either will already be held by a faction or school of kung fu, or has been rumored to exist and all of the factions seek it. The dragon is said to give eternal power and life to the person that owns it, so naturally, all of the schools want it for their own. Of course there is the right and virtuous hero school, and the other evil schools, but I think I will throw in a few of my own pieces to make it a little more updates than the classics.

Maybe someday this little project of mine will be the next big kung fu movie! Who knows? Now it’s time to write.

Demonstrating Kung Fu at Daxiangguo Monestary, Kaifeng, Henan” is licensed under a CC BY 2.5 license.

Swordsman: Skills and Elements


Character “Lingu” uses her Sun and Moon health leaching buff.

As with all online games, characters come with a set of skills, and those skills are often made of elements or types. Swordsman is no different, so its important to know what kinds of skills your class has. There are direct cast skills (skills that cast no matter what, whether you are near a target or not) and target skills (skills that require a target).

There are also, of course, buff skills and heals as well. But the one thing Swordsman doesn’t have, unlike most games, is a revival skill. So you have to be careful about how you react to things so you stay alive, or have to run all the way back to where you are.

Elements are also important as they affect your damage output. Make sure you check what your class uses, as it is different for each. There are five elements: Ice, Fire, Poison, and Earth. Most classes will use one primary element and a secondary for status and damage-over-time skills. For example, Sun and Moon class will use Fire for damage, and Poison for the damage-over-time skills like burn and bleed. However, Five Venoms actually uses all of the elements, an exception to the rule.

Being ten schools (classes) to choose from can make things a bit complex, but once you chose your class, everything you need will be displayed on your character screen. It will tell you whether you use Exo (physical) or Endo (magical) attack, what your elements are, and help you decide what stats to increase. Even if you have trouble with that, there are plenty of useful guides on the forums, or even a helpful player or guild in-game to ask.

Make sure you become aware of and learn all of your skills. This is important for not only PVP, but also PVE dungeons and character cultivation. As with most games, knowing your class will help in almost every situation and keep you alive and fighting for your goals.

Mood-setting Food: the right dish can make a character pop.

800px-Ethiopian_foodI don’t know about the next person, but I really like to eat. Though I’m not a character in a book, this can still tell a lot about me based on my food choices. For example, being willing to try new foods or “weird” foods, shows that I am accepting or adventurous. Though, I can tell you it’s more the former than latter. This kind of thinking can be used in writing as well; authors use it quite a bit and readers can really get a sense of characters based on the food they eat.

While logical characters may stick to the basics, outgoing characters may try something different to spice things up a bit. Have you ever seen a scholarly person eat a double onion jalapeno pizza with a size of baked apples? Well, if you have, then that’s not a bad thing, but typically, scholars will stick to easy-to-prepare options that tend to be clean or easy to carry since they are always busy with research or teaching. While that’s not to say every character that’s a scholar is the same, it does lend a bit to their personality to examine what they eat.

The time period a story takes place is also an important thing to consider. A Victorian-era story would not have characters eating hotdogs from a street cart. This all goes into setting the mood for the story and keeping everything fitting well into it. The types of food can also change the mood as well. A cozy setting would be more appropriate with soul food like roast chicken and mashed potatoes. A picnic or party atmosphere where people are walking around more would be better with deviled eggs and hot dogs. While you can always mix it up, setting the mood can be done very well with food as well.

Food is also a social part of life. When people eat, whether in a story or not, they talk about things they wouldn’t normally speak about away from the table. The table or place they are eating is used as a gathering place, whether they are standing, sitting, or lounging, or even running around. If a person is eating quickly, it indicated a hurried state, having to get things done on a deadline. Slow eaters show more relaxed situations with more talking possible.

At the dinner table, this is when families or friends will often speak about how their day went or events going on in their lives. No where else is this really discussed. Even if you are meeting with friends at a party, food allows the conversation to flow better, allowing for conversation as well. If people didn’t treat eating as a social aspect of life, there may not even be any social aspects of life. The type of food and the style or way it is eaten is a big revealer of a person’s heritage as well. Some people use forks and knives, others use chopsticks, and some don’t even use utensils (like the family enjoying Ethiopian food above).

When reading or writing your own works, you can use food to make the reader (or the writer can make you feel) a certain way just by the food that is presented and how the characters react to and eat the food. Whether they are clean, dirty, proper, or relaxed, food is a great way to show just what a character is thinking and how they approach life.

grab it and eat it”  by Richard is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Ether Saga Online Classes: Shaman

shamanShamans are a strange class within the world of Ether Saga. They are not exactly a tank, but at the same time, they act like one. They can have three damage absorbs, three anti-stun skills, a speed increase skill, two heals, and an invincibility skill, allowing them to really be a survivor on the field of battle. They are not a class for everyone, but for those that like playing the hybrid role of support and damage, they are just perfect.

When shamans begin to level, initially they are pretty weak. They only have a few damage skills, but when they begin to have access to their ethyrs (or equippable skills), they gain a damage absorb/reducer called Essence Aura. This, at max level, can reduce incoming damage by 25%. This is useful especially when leveling in areas that do a bit more damage. Early on, they also gain Smell the Flowers, which is a nice heal over time that can be used on other people as well. Also early on, an important skill for shamans is Presence of the Spirit, which is a resurrection/revival skill for deal players. Unlike that of a mystic, shaman’s has a five-minute cooldown, but that’s because it revives the target with more than 60% of their HP.

Notable skills to come later include Ethereal Infusion, which increases the targets elemental affinities by 30 at max level, a very useful skill for both PVP and PVE. The catch is that the target must be in elemental transform, which is easy since you gain one early in the game that has unlimited transformations. For PVP, Moxi Surrender and All in a Mouse’s Night are very useful. The former has a high chance to reduce an enemies attack power by somewhere in the 80% range. The latter transformers you into a mouse, which sadly cannot attack, but it increases your speed by nearly three times to help you escape. In addition, it increases your Widu affinity by 40 at max level.

Then of course, there is Swan and Lotus. This skill is great if you are in a party, because it makes party members and yourself immune to 95% of all curses. I believe the only one that cannot be escaped is the conjurer’s sheep transformation skill. The double attack is better on shaman than most other classes because the second attack is based on Widu affinity instead of some weird stat like accuracy (as rogues have). As you can rell, Widu affinity is already very important to shamans as it is their only attack affinity and damage increase besides intellect. So don’t forget to save up your Widu.

There are only a few build options for shamans, focus on Widu and intellect being the most popular. However, a resilience shaman is a good choice as well, as long as you don’t mind sacrificing the accuracy to avoid being hit. As a class, shamans have decent accuracy. Over level 100, with the help of a few decent signets and a fusion pet, you can hit almost anything. However, resil users may have to shoot for much less, perhaps in the 100-110 range, but they will not be hit nearly as much to worry about that.

Remember, the most popular choice for subclasses is Templar, as it gains another heal and a second damage absorb. I believe Heretic has a mana drain, but I have not seen many people use this subclass. I believe that the heal is a much better option, so Templar is usually a better choice.

If you seek a class that can both heal and damage, as well as protect allies, the Shaman is for you. When built right, it can escape nearly any attack and really be a true survivor in the face of battle. Not to mention that they are really sought after to assist in territory wars, as their AOE is the ultimate way to protect the flag. It’s not a class for everyone, but it is sure to please some people who fit this role well.

Picture source (x)


thanksHello followers!

I’m glad that you continue to read my posts, even if there are only a few of you. I am glad to have all of you, no matter how many of you there are. Please feel free to leave comments about any of my posts and I will be glad to reply.

I am writing this post not only as a thanks, but also a short announcement. In observance of Labor Day, since I’ll be somewhat busy (and had a breakdown last night so I got no sleep), today’s tech post has been canceled. I will continue posting as normal tomorrow.

Also, there may not be an anime post every Thursday. I’ve all but run out of spotlights while I try to finish this somewhat long anime I’ll review when its done. I usually don’t watch anime that’s this long, but I decided to take a shot, and I plan to push through until its done.

Thanks again for reading and I hope you continue to enjoy my blog!

THANK YOU” by Paul Downey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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