Saturday, December 31, 2011

The art of disappearing

Hey all,

[Warning: I was a bit upset when I wrote this it's just a thing I feel strongly about so you may encounter grammatical and spelling errors]

This is gonna be a short and passionate post about something I feel needs to be saved. In our present world a lot of things take precedence one of the major thing is simplifying. Making things for easier for us or at least having us do less. Less is more. Sometimes less is worse. Sometimes technology is a double-edged sword.

Books and Magazines - With technology that's out now reading actual books is becoming more and more rare (I believe in general reading is more rare especially among minority and young groups). It's obvious how obvious? Look at our world places like Borders closed out as well as many independently owned bookstores. Point is why go to the book store when I can just download it all to my E-reader. Even Barnes and Noble the top dog (for now) is still having issues. It's future is still uncertain now and even more at risk in the future. Here is the problem I have with E-readers first off it's mechanical and machines eventually break down or need repairs. What if your internet goes out? Oops no downloading for you but me? I'll take my book and be on my merry way to a porch or windowsill enjoy a read for a few hours. Books can be destroyed too and they do get brittle over time. But it's like an antique you see it's age in the pages...the story can tell it's own story. I can leave a legacy with my book; Here you go son I read this when I was little.....Now I might have to say: Here you go son this is my old what? Point is my son is gonna loose out on the experience of physically having the book something that was personal to me and perhaps him. waste wise my book can be recycled but your plastic and metal? It takes more money to recycle plastics and metals. Tom also made a great case for magazines and books (in my opinion) with information reaching people in an instant magazines are becoming obsolete the same can be said for books leaked illegally on the internet.

Games - A recent article on IGN left me it the author implies gamers don't wanna go to the store and pick up a game. His alternative: instantly downloading games into our consoles. I also read the comments of the article and I can firmly say not all of us see it that way. Again it's the commodity going to the store and picking up the game (and Often talking to fellow gamers) is just as part of the fun as when you first pop in the disk. Do I want less and more substantial patches into my games? Yes. Do I want to download my games? No. It goes onto the same way I feel about books nothing beats having the book and in my opinion nothing beats having that disk and case...especially collector's editions. Also this instant download option also kills another thing.....bonus items I can tell you now I rather have a physical game world map than a virtual item within the game. Don't believe me? Well that's your prerogative....(Looks at my 4 game maps of Skyrim, Cyrodiil, Morrowind, Mournhold, and Shivering Isles as well as my Pokemon figurines and stylus)

You can agree with me or disagree point is...what will you think when in 50 years from now none of these things exist anymore.

Until next time your friend,
Alric Ravensinger

Monday, December 12, 2011

Wizard101: Lore potential? Wizard101: Origins!

Hey all!

Wow! It's been awhile since my last post and I am sorry for that. It's been a busy month or so first off SorceressMiklai - my dear love visited me for Thanksgiving and stayed with me for 3 weeks. It was simply amazing and it was such a great experience to have her in my neck of the...erm....cactus. I don't think Sorceress will mind that I say this but she isn't accustomed to large families nor gatherings and it was a dream for me to see her finally get her wish if only for awhile fulfilled by being in a family - all our craziness and bickering included.

 Anyway this post is about something I have always been interested in: Lore. Ask any of my friends in KT and they will tell you of how I annoy them (Jk!) with my constant deciphering of Wizard101's lore as well as other games. (I'm looking at you: Pokemon and Elder Scrolls) I've had countless discussions with Ronan Dawn, Luke Goldhorn, and many others. All these discussions lead me to believe in one absolute truth: there is no established lore in Wizard101. I know what your rebuttal is going to be of course there is established lore.

The creation of the Spiral and all it's inhabitants are skeletons of stories at best. The books in game only provide basic overlays of past events that have shaped the great worlds of The Spiral. What we need is a chance to see what REALLY went down back then. I don't know about you folks but I'd love to see stories on how the Dogs and Cats of Marleybone became civilized. I'd like to see the wars past that shaped Dragonspyre into a militant power before the Dragon Titan came. I WANT to see the stories of past emperors who fought the ancient Oni demons.

There is signs of hope however. Zafaria is one of the first worlds I seen where the story is based on what happened. Morganthe at one point ruled Zafaria or at least it was a seat of her power. It took the Council of Light as well as the People of Zafaria to stop her. The new animated history quest paints a picture (literally) of this past conflict foreshadowing her return to Zafaria. This is great it is old and ties into the new. The past directly telling a story to the present about what was and what can be once again.

I'm not asking for KingsIsle to establish lore like Elder Scrolls a series that prides itself on it's expansive lore so large I've only seen one other series with such a large volume of lore and that's the epic fantasy the Lord of The Rings. All I am wanting is a definitive story or collection of stories. Recently the Elder Scrolls employed Author Greg Keyes to write 2 novels to Re-establish the world of Tamriel after the Oblivion Crisis.  Yes they are game novels.  Darn good ones too as they tell of a chaotic time after the Oblivon Crisis where the Empire is crumbling, Vvardenfell has been destroyed, and murder is everywhere. (Books are intended for adults)

What Keyes did for the series is refreshed the palette of the TES universe while using established lore from previous games to tell a compelling story. What if KingsIsle contracted someone? To write a series of novels?
Wizard101: Origins! A comprehensive series on the chaotic times that shaped The Spiral. I'm not asking for books like Keyes' novels but a dang good set of stories that make us cry, hate, and love characters past that helped craft this amazing world. I want to see younger Morganthe and Merle. Perhaps we can see the old kings and queens of Zafaria as they fought for their lands.

All of these are just wants of course but maybe one dream will come true until then I will remain vigilant and hopeful. For The Spiral!

Until next time your friend,
Alric Ravensinger