Friday, July 21, 2017

SWTOR Character Tales: Lightsaber Combat Updated

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den!

I've been thinking about this for a bit, and I realized something; there's a LOT of characters who are Ataru specialists in my list, which is fine, since that IS the most popular style in the movies, but I was thinking that I should make them a little more unique.  So, here's the updated "Lightsaber Combat" post I did before, with a couple of new characters, one of which you haven't seen before, and updated fighting styles for others.

Ragdat: As a Battlemaster, Ragdat is trained in all 7 forms of lightsaber combat, but he prefers Shien and its dueling variant, Djem So.  However, to help with his mobility, he's implemented elements Makashi for better footwork and Ataru for speed and acrobatics. 

Vedere: Vedere is a Niman user, though she has implemented a Soresu mentality into her fighting style. She's well verse in implementing Force based attacks in her lightsaber sequences, as you'd expect out of the Shadow class.

Vizhdam: Like Ragdat, Vizhdam is a Battlemaster, so he knows all 7 forms of lightsaber combat.  However, he prefers Niman, granting him great speed and agility, and the training to integrate Force based attacks into his lightsaber sequences with ease.  Unlike Vedere, he has mastered Niman, meaning he literally has an answer to every combat situation that he is dropped into.  He's also skilled in TrĂ kata, a dangerous technique that utilized shutting off then re-igniting the blade to trip up his opponents.  However, unlike the other two Battlemasters on this list, Vizhdam is a technical master, rather than a battlefield master like Ragdat and Mamine are; his moves are more crisp and fluid, where as theirs are more sloppy, but he has less battlefield awareness than they do.

Adaso: Adaso is a master of Djem So and Shien, which shows how he fights; brute force, powerful speed, and bulwark defense.  He prefers overwhelming his opponents whenever possible, but isn't afraid to dig in when necessary.

Colmallus: As you'll see if you watch Jensaari1's video on Juyo, you'll see that anyone who masters it has needed to master at least 2 other forms.  This, coupled with Colmallus' armor being resistant to lightsabers and blaster fire, gave me the idea that his other two styles would be to increase his maneuverability and ability to chain Force based attacks into his form. Thus, his use of Juyo has elements of Makashi, which was his primary style before becoming a Mandalorian, and Niman, which gave him skill in both dual bladed fencing and integrating Force based attacks into his sequences.

Darth Nox: Like Vedere, Darth Nox relies heavily on the Force in combat. Though, unlike Vedere, she is double bladed Makashi user when forced to get close.  For defense, Darth Nox is likely to utilize a Force barrier, likely made of lightning, to defend herself from blaster fire.

Chas'Raan: She fights very much like Obi-Wan Kenobi; mastery of Soresu giving her impeccable defense, and mastery of Ataru granting her avenues of attack. Unlike Kenobi, however, she's not very skilled in telekinesis, but has great energy defense, being able to absorb or deflect Force lightning and other similar powers.

Mamine: Like Ragdat, Mamine has trained in all 7 forms, but she still prefers Ataru, utilizing her whole body as a weapon, implementing punches and kicks into her style, as noted by her berserker rages before her redemption.  That said, she has trained very hard to overcome the weaknesses of Ataru, making her great at blaster deflection.

Suthazi: Like all Jedi and Sith, Suthazi is trained in Shii Cho, the form from which all lightsaber combat stems from.  That said, her first master as a Padawan began training her in Soresu to help her combat her issues with rage. However, when she becomes Mamine's Padawan, Mamine will continue Suthazi's training in Soresu while helping her overcome Soresu's weakness that is a lack of ability to turn their defense into attack.

Yokonari: Yokonari is very much a Jar'Kai using Ataru fighter, having mastered the ability to utilize two blade with speed and acrobatics, but also seeing the weaknesses of Ataru's lack of defense and overcoming it.  During the time skip, however, she's begun training in Djem So, to give her a better defense against lightsaber wielding opponents, and intends to begin training in Juyo when she's attained mastery of the form.

Casek: Though he's a Sorcerer by both training and nature, Casek is a Makashi user, like Count Dooku from the movies.  Also, like Dooku, he has overcome the weaknesses of lack of ability with blaster deflection and against multiple opponents.  Unlike Dooku, though, Casek is a master of implementing the Force into his lightsaber chains.

Anstrisil: Unlike most fighters on this list, Anstrisil has mastered Shii Cho, making him a very random, very unpredictable fighter.  He has taken the basics of lightsaber combat and made them his own, overcoming the form's weakness at dueling. Most underestimate him due to his usage of the form that everyone has learned, but he continually surprises his opponents with unconventional applications of bladework and chaining the Force into his sequences.

Tavella: Tavella is much like Darth Zannah will be in the future;  a sorceress who uses Soresu to defend herself while she uses her powers offensively.  Unlike Zannah, though, Tavella has trained herself to be able to use her spells and powers in live combat without needing to break off and concentrate.

Daashla Myr: Jedi Master Daashla Myr is a Jedi very much like the Jedi Master An'ya Kuro, AKA the Dark Woman; she teaches students that have a tendency toward the Dark Side, for one reason or another.  She has achieved complete mastery of Soresu, as this is the style she favors teaching her students to give them a defensive minded mindset, but unlike many Soresu masters who implement Ataru to grant her avenues of attack, she switches to Makashi, as befitting her mindset of controlling aggression, rather than meeting it.

Daashla Myr is actually going to play a minor role in both Ragdat and Mamine's stories, but in very different ways.  Look forward to what I mean after chapter 9 of both stories.

But for now, stay beautiful freaks!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Independence Day America!

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den! 

As my American audience knows, today is Independence Day, or more commonly known as "The Fourth of July".  What my foreign audience may not know is the history of the day and why we celebrate.  So, here's a quick history lesson.

Way back in the late 18th century, what is now known as the United States eastern seaboard were 13 British colonies, and they weren't pleased with the laws the English government was passing and how they affected the colonists.  The thing is, though, that these colonists were descendants of the the original Englishmen and Englishwomen who sailed across the Atlantic many years ago.  Heck, some of the colonies dated back to 1607, a full 170 years before! They weren't English people anymore; they were Rhode Islanders, Virginians, Georgians, Marylanders, etc.  So eventually, they got fed up with English rule, and decided that they'd rather rule themselves.  So, on July 4, 1776, they signed the Declaration of Independence, and began the American Revolution.

Fast forward to today, and we're the most powerful nation, both economically and militarily.  We are literally the last superpower in our world.  And yet, I'm afraid for my country's future.  I'm actually at a point when I'm not proud to say that I'm an American.  And all because of Donald Trump.  One look at his twitter shows why I'm ashamed of my countymen; he's a psychopath, and he's making the rest of the world afraid of us for all the wrong reasons.  Between his actions against a free internet and backing out of the Paris Agreement about the environment, I'm afraid he's going to cause another 9/11.  And unless he gets caught doing something criminal, we're stuck with him until 2020!

But all is not lost; as a nation, we have the right to make our voices heard.  We can non-violently protest in the street, we can peacefully push for changes in his administration, and we can utilize peaceful social pressures to show the American people that he should not be our representative to the rest of the world via peaceful means.  And that's the important part of it; peaceful.  To show both Trump, and the rest of the world, that we don't agree with what he's doing, and we're doing it the right way.

And when 2020 rolls around, we vote him out of office. And for the first time in over a decade, I'm registering to vote so we don't keep him in office.  Before Trump, I had faith in the American people to not put someone like this in office that they didn't need me to vote against him to be alright.  Not anymore.

But for now, my fellow Americans, enjoy your day with your family and friends, have fun, and to everyone, stay beautiful freaks!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

SWTOR Character Tales Photo Dump

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den!

So, yeah, as the title says, it's time for another photo dump. Why? Because after recreating Allisani and Curoda due to wanting to have different choices in KOTFE/KOTET, I've been playing with outfit designer for Allisani, due to me wanting to have different outfits for different missions.  And due to having gotten a few new outfits for some other characters that I've previously posted, it's time to post updates for characters.

With that in mind, time for the photo dump!



 Yep, Allisani's got the most new outfits.  Outfit 1 is the one she wears the most; this one is the one that aids in stealth the most.  The reds are there to dissipate her body heat, the black helping her blend into the shadow, and the armor bits to protect vitals.  Outfit 2 is meant to blend in with the "scum" that she is associating with via Curoda.  Outfit 3 is what I'm calling "stealth armor", granting her extra blaster resistance in vital areas but still allowing her to hide her identity relatively easily. Outfit 4 is what she wears when stealth is not a consideration; it's best described as "spy armor"; blaster and lightsaber resistance are the focus here, but still giving her the tech she needs to remain a spy. And finally, Outfit 5 is when not being recognized is paramount; total body coverage, room for tech, but very little armor.  This actually makes her look smaller, due to a lack or armor on her body.
This isn't a change of outfit. It's an addition; I put this in the outfit designer after finishing Ziost.


 Bet you didn't realize she was a Jedi previously, huh?  No, Lana's outfit made Nihtika look more Sith than Jedi.

And finally, the two outfits that I started using the outfit designer for.

 I've finally got the full Ambitious Warrior outfit for Mamine! She finally looks exactly like I wanted her to from the beginning!

And now, Adaso has the Sith Recluse armorset.  All because it went on direct sale on the cartel market a few weeks back.

I've got a few other new background characters to get pictures of, so it'll be a while before I do another post like this. But for now, check out my referral code for  7 days free days of subscription if you're a subscriber and other benefits if you're a free player, and stay beautiful freaks!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

SWTOR Character Tales: Talk about our heroes

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den!

So, I've been writing up Chapter 4 of Rise of Mamine, and thinking about what I'm going to need to change for Ragdat's Darkest Days. And it turns out, there's a LOT of paragraphs that will either need to be heavily edited or completely deleted due to differences between their personalities.  And even though I've posted a basic profile of them previously, (which you can get access to via the labels I've put for this entry), I realized that it wasn't enough to explain the differences between them.  Which is why I'm doing this entry.

Ragdat is a soldier. Has been his entire life.  His earliest memory is being part of a tribal conflict as a child.  This continued until he was on the cusp of adulthood, where he and Kaliyo met, and they started making a fortune at the gladiatorial arena called "The Cauldron", where Ragdat eventually competed to join Darth Vich's army (which would make him over 70, but I'm fudging the dates a bit. A fact that I didn't know at the time I came up with this facet of his backstory), and fought against Sith.  From there, he fought in a gladiatorial arena on Nar Shaddaa before becoming a champion there.  From there, he went off for Jedi training, which has been the only part of his life where he's not been actively involved in combat, but even then, he was preparing for future battles.  From there, we begin the Jedi Knight story, so more war.

This has influenced his abilities.  As with any untrained Force Sensitive, he instinctively used the Force to augment his abilities that apply to his lifestyle.  For example, a Force Sensitive diplomat will learn how to dominate minds and influence crowds, a Force Sensitive gambler will learn to use the Force to top the odds in their favor, a Force Sensitive doctor will use the Force to as an intuition to treat their patients most effectively, etc.  Ragdat, being a soldier and fighter, instinctively learned Force based physical augmentation, making him stronger, faster and more resistant to pain and damage, as well as the power of Foresight, or his "danger sense" as he calls it, to help him survive on the battlefield.

Ragdat's Jedi training involved reinforcing what he already knew and how to use them consciously and new abilities like telekinesis, the Mind Trick, and the power of Shatterpoint, though he never used it offensively.  (In short, Shatterpoint is an extrapolation of Foresight, so it's fitting that he has that as a unique ability).  His focus is on lightsaber combat and defense, which is why he's got some of the strongest telekinetic barriers in the Jedi Order, a fact that WILL come up in the story.  And through Shatterpoint, he's good at exploiting other people's weaknesses.  Furthermore, due to his lifelong experience with war, he's always wearing armor except when sleeping in his own bed or cleaning himself.  His armor is blaster resistant, but not lightsaber resistant, because lightsaber resistant materials are either rare, brittle or both, and he's not one for more arcane powers like Force Imbue, which could make his armor lightsaber resistant.  No, when combating another Force user, his focus is on his lightsaber, his TK barrier, and his skill.

Mamine, on the other hand, was a hunter and a shaman's apprentice.  She grew up on Cathar, a very wild world, and Mamine was very good at both solo hunts and leading hunting parties.  She always kept her people alive, and always brought back food, unless performing the rite of the Blood Hunt, which is part of her backstory.

Mamine, like Ragdat, is great at Force based physical augmentation, but unlike Ragdat, Mamine's focus was on enhancing her senses.  To this day, she can't be surprised, and she can't be snuck up on.  She's also great at utilizing her whole body as a weapon, giving her great natural agility. She was also heavily focused on stealth, so nor to surprise her prey before she was ready. Her Jedi training honed the abilities she used naturally, and she became a very accomplished Telepath, which is an extrapolation of her ability to enhance her senses. (I wanted to give both a unique power based on their previous life choices.)  She, like Ragdat, also learned telekinesis and lightsaber combat, but Mamine's focus was always on avoiding damage rather than tanking it.  So, while her TK barriers are good, they aren't as strong as Ragdat's.  Her combat focus, as previously stated, is on Ataru, giving her speed and maneuverability, and is great at implementing body strikes into her sequences, an extrapolation of her natural talents.

Her clothing choices have always been about ease of movement and minimizing sound, which is why her clothes are both loose fitting in some places, and skintight in others.  (And I've finally got that whole Ambitious Warrior set, so I'm going to be posting new pictures sooner or later.)

Anyway, this is more for me to keep track of how they think, act, and their power set, than anything else, but I hope you guys enjoy it. For now, check out my referral code if you're already playing SWTOR, subscribe if you like the game, and stay beautiful freaks!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

SWTOR Character Tales: Lightsaber combat

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den!  Thanks to me finding a youtuber who focuses on pitting different Force users against each other from all across the Star Wars timeline, I've been thinking about the lightsaber forms and how they interact.  This means that, when writing in the future, I'll be mentioning how they fight, rather than just "they switched to such and such form" in the future.  That also means that I've figured out which forms which Force user utilizes in both universes would use.  But before I do that, let me post links to both the youtuber, Jensaarai1, and Wookieepedia's article on lightsaber combat.

Ragdat: As a Battlemaster, Ragdat is trained in all 7 forms of lightsaber combat, but he prefers Shien and its dueling variant, Djem So, implementing a little bit of Soresu to beef us his defenses.  This means Ragdat's a very aggressive fighter, focusing on counterattacking his enemies, and overwhelming their defenses.

Vedere: Vedere is a Niman user, though she has implemented a Soresu mentality into her fighting style. She's well verse in implementing Force based attacks in her lightsaber sequences, as you'd expect out of the Shadow class.

Vizhdam: Like Ragdat, Vizhdam is a Battlemaster, so he knows all 7 forms of lightsaber combat.  However, he prefers Ataru, granting him great speed and agility, utilizing his entire body as a weapon.  He's also skilled in TrĂ kata, a dangerous technique that utilized shutting off then re-igniting the blade to trip up his opponents.

Adaso: Adaso is a master of Djem So (but not Shien), Soresu and Juyo, which shows how he fights; brute force, powerful speed, and bulwark defense.  He prefers overwhelming his opponents whenever possible, but isn't afraid to dig in when necessary.

Colmallus: As you'll see if you watch Jensaari1's video on Juyo, you'll see that anyone who masters it has needed to master at least 2 other forms.  This, coupled with Colmallus' armor being resistant to lightsabers and blaster fire, gave me the idea that his other two styles would be to increase his maneuverability and ability to chain Force based attacks into his form. Thus, his use of Juyo has good footwork and maneuverability and the ability to Force abilities into his sequences.

Darth Nox: Like Vedere, Darth Nox relies heavily on the Force in combat. Though, unlike Vedere, she is double bladed Makashi user when forced to get close.  For defense, Darth Nox is likely to utilize a Force barrier, likely made of lightning, to defend herself from blaster fire.

Chas'Raan: She fights very much like Obi-Wan Kenobi; mastery of Soresu giving her impeccable defense, and mastery of Ataru granting her avenues of attack. Unlike Kenobi, however, she's not very skilled in telekinesis, but has great energy defense, being able to absorb or deflect Force lightning and other similar powers.

Mamine: Like Ragdat, Mamine has trained in all 7 forms, but she still prefers Ataru, utilizing her whole body as a weapon, implementing punches and kicks into her style, as noted by her berserker rages before her redemption.  That said, she has trained very hard to overcome the weaknesses of Ataru, making her great at blaster deflection.

Suthazi: Like all Jedi and Sith, Suthazi is trained in Shii Cho, the form from which all lightsaber combat stems from.  That said, her first master as a Padawan began training her in Soresu to help her combat her issues with rage. However, when she becomes Mamine's Padawan, Mamine will continue Suthazi's training in Soresu while helping her overcome Soresu's weakness that is a lack of ability to turn their defense into attack.

Yokonari: Yokonari is very much a Jar'Kai using Ataru fighter, having mastered the ability to utilize two blade with speed and acrobatics, but also seeing the weaknesses of Ataru's lack of defense and overcoming it.

Casek: Though he's a Sorcerer by both training and nature, Casek is a Makashi user, like Count Dooku from the movies.  Also, like Dooku, he has overcome the weaknesses of lack of ability with blaster deflection and against multiple opponents.  Unlike Dooku, though, Casek is a master of implementing the Force into his lightsaber chains.

Anstrisil: Unlike most fighters on this list, Anstrisil has mastered Shii Cho, making him a very random, very unpredictable fighter.  He has taken the basics of lightsaber combat and made them his own, overcoming the form's weakness at dueling. Most underestimate him due to his usage of the form that everyone has learned, but he continually surprises his opponents with unconventional applications of bladework and chaining the Force into his sequences.

I think that's all the Force users I've created that are named. Yeah, there are 2 more Jedi and one more Sith in the pictures, but they are just background dressing, and will never be seen fighting.  Also, Tavella, Darth Nox's researcher, will not be seen fighting, so her preferred form won't matter either.

I'm currently working on Mamine's KOTFE Ch4, and I hope to implement as much as I've said about her fighting style into the story. But for now, stay beautiful freaks!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Assassin's Den Reviews Dragon Ball Super God of Destruction Arc

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den!

With the Resurrection F arc starting tomorrow night on Cartoon Network, I'm finally ready review the Battle of Gods arc that finished last week.  I took some time to binge watch all the episodes I recorded to see how the arc flowed, I've come up with several impressions.

First off, Beerus is a dick.  Yes, I get that he's the God of Destruction of Universe 7.   It's his job to blow up planets to allow new life to surface.  But he's extremely overzealous.  He blows up planets for the smallest perceived slights, and is extremely fickle.  The only reason he spared Earth was a combination of how good the food was, and how Goku tested him in the Super Saiyan God form.

Which brings me to the Super Saiyan God form.  I don't like it, and I'm glad its gone.  It just looks like the Kaioken, but without the restrictions, but with red eyes.  Instead, it had a new restriction, and neither Goku nor Vegeta like the form, since they had to take power from others via a ritual to even achieve the form.  I mean, yeah, Goku's Genki Dama does pretty much the same thing, but it's a technique that he has to shape in order for it to be a useful attack.

Third, the Beerus/SSG Goku fight drug out WAY too long.  And unlike the SSJ Goku/Freeza fight, this wasn't to buy time to let Toriyama to complete the arc; no, it drug because it drug.  I've since seen the movie, and you know what? It showed the fight better!  We didn't NEED all the fluff that the show gave us!

Now, I will praise the English voice acting.  These men and women have been doing these characters for 18 years (with the notable exception of Bulma, who is voiced by Monica Rial, Bulma's second voice actress, and 18, who is voiced once again by her original voice actress Meredith CcCoy, after being voiced by Colleen Clinkenbeard between 2010 and 2014.), and they know these characters in and out.  So of course, they sound like they're supposed to sound.

Now, I've been told that later arcs get better.  But if I didn't have that knowledge? If this was my first impression of Super? I wouldn't bother with it after this.  It felt less like Dragon Ball than people claim GT felt!  I don't know, maybe the Resurrection F arc will be better.  But I feel that a show that has so much hype shouldn't have me going "I hope the next arc delivers" when I look back on it.

Anyway, I've got the next episode all set to record, and I should have the review this time next week.  But for now, stay beautiful freaks!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Assassin's Den Reviews Dragon Ball Super Episode 12

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den!

Yes, I know, I'm really late in my analysis of this episode, but I only got around to watching it today, four hours (at the time I'm writing this) away from the episode 13 review.  But I've had a LOT on my plate this past week, and I've only had a chance today to settle down and enjoy things.

With the battle moving into space, I now know that the fight between Goku and Beerus is almost done. Only an episode and a half left of this fight before I don't have to see this stupid Super Saiyan God form ever again.  I really never liked the look of the SSG form, but I absolutely LOVE the Super Saiyan Blue form.  It's the iconic power of Super, and I've loved playing as, and fighting against, Super Saiyan Blue Goku and Vegeta in Dragon Ball Xenoverse.

As for the Funimation Dub?  I'm glad that they're staying true to the integrity of the Japanese source, and not shying away from minor profanity when it's warranted.  Goku saying "You're damn right I am!" when Beerus mentioned him not being satified with the power of a god and wanting to push beyond it fits the character.

So, yeah, the arc's almost over.  I'm actually looking forward to seeing the Resurrection F arc, and to see if the show used the Maximum the Hormone song "F", and whether Funimation lets the dub keep it.

But for now, hopefully I can start to keep a schedule for watching Super next week.  As for you guys, check out my referral code if you're a SWTOR player, and stay beautiful freaks!