Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fansites...the reckoning!

     



      Hello again Exiles and Dominion. We here at ProtoStarTopia want to speak a little bit about Fan sites. So the next big thing is coming out and your like "I'm a fan of that! I wonder what I can do next? I know, a fan site!" OK so not everyone says that,technically a very small percentage of the community will actually find that reason to do such a time consuming,all encompassing thing to honor their love of a game. Take for instance WildStar. There's plenty of great sites out there, some with forums and chat, some with role play, some just serving up delicious Nexian delicacies. I'm pretty sure nearly every single fan site creator has a slight different reason for the why of doing what their particular site offers. Now I cannot speak for each and every one, but I can share why protostartopia was created as well as sharing with you a few fan site creators who were kind enough to share their reasons as well.
     When I think back to the main reason I started doing all this I would almost say I don't have a clue. It's not to say I'm not a fan or anything but I've never...ever written, drawn, or tried for anything game related with another MMO. I could pass it off easily and say I saw all the others amazing things and I wanted in on it. That is not accurate either. So here's the core of my convictions and reasons of why I do all this stuff that I do. In a word it's Believe. I believe in Carbine, I believe in WildStar, and I believe in the community. It's not simply I wanna play the game or "oh it looks cool" it's a feeling that with the right nurturing, and solid commitment something already great can become something as near to perfect as is  possible.
       Anyone can say "I'm a fan" but not everyone goes that little extra step to do a single thing about it. That's fine but those of us out there doing stuff nearly every day to promote, bolster, and police the community know why in our heads and hearts. You don't have to do a site but support is a big thing as well, support your fellow community members and make sure they know they are appreciated. We're all in this together and making these things is hard, some sites I cannot fathom running but I keep to my dark fringe corner and feel fine about it. :D First up we'll hear a short bit from Mythos of WildStar Lore.

"I wanted more WildStar in my life, It's always been a project of Love and am still clueless about how to make a fan sites. I 
just shoot from the hip and the fact that there's people who enjoy what I'm doing as much as me is a bonus and I will admit it
 makes me tickle inside. This community is stellar, I hope to be able to continue doing what I love for a very long time"

      Thanks to Mythos and http://www.wildstarlore.com for that. Next up is John "Brenner" Hawkens from The Scowling Cassian.

"Well, I started with the "Meet the Dominion" video and by the end, Malvolio had me hooked. I knew I was going to need to
 learn more. Doing some research, I remember really enjoying the lore which was so much more in-depth then I expected 
before I stepped in. So, I knew I just had to celebrate it, I wanted to try my hand at blogging and do something for the 
RP community that had been such a prominent part of my life for the last few years.
The response was frankly overwhelming with so many kind and supportive people. Heck Gaffney was my very first commenter!
And so I had to give back to the community! I kept blogging but I also became strong with WSRP, of which I am now a mod.
 So I do both! I run a fan site and do my best to support others :3"

      I appreciate it Brenner, keep being you over at http://scowlingcassian.blogspot.com/ Last but certainly not least The Econ Pvper himself Anhrez had this to say about Settler in Exile's creation.

"Settler in Exile was started as a rant location for me. Forums are great, I post and lurk a lot of them, but there was 
something about WildStar that called me to create my own page where I can put up what ever when ever about the game.
 I have created articles for other fan sites. Warplots, Mission-Nexus and Wildstarfans have all posted my raving run-on 
sentences. I am migrating towards writing for other sites at the moment as I can create content but I am a horrible editor.
 So it would seem best to find someone to help channel my inner rant-geek to make things more coherent to the community.
 I will still keep my site around if nothing else to help the community keep track of upcoming plushies I am creating .... I
 am so excited about the next one I am gong to reveal!"

       Thanks a ton Anhrez from http://www.settlerinexile.com/ for taking the time out for that insight. Well as you can see these are just a few of the samples of why fan sites are created. It just goes to show community is diverse, reaching, and fun as well. Everyone in the community whether doing sites, supporting sites, or enjoying them and sharing them is doing wonderful. Keep it up everyone and hey anyone else running a site that wants to share feel free to comment below, we'd love to hear all the stories! Be excellent to each other!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Sit down Number 3! Flanrific with Flannan!







"Flanrific!"

Hello Exiles and Dominion of the planet Nexus and beyond! My name is Zilvis. This is my end of the week community spotlight that I’ll be doing each and every week to delve a little more into who a certain member of the WildStar community is, learn the what and why of their choice to migrate to Nexus, and maybe some surprises along the way. The way I looked at it we're all community bound like brothers and sisters in this game of WildStar. Why not get to know someone a bit better? Once again welcome, sit back, and prepare to meet this week's community member, Flannan, or as I call him Flan. Welcome to Sunday Sit down.
 I’ll let you write a little introduction. 
If you have other monikers some may know you by, feel free to throw them out there. Mainly just tell  where people can find you online and any background you'd like to share we might not know.


     Thanks, but this intro may be a bit short as there isn't much to know. Well, as you said, its me, Flannan. Though, thanks to a few in the WildStar community a number of interpretations have been created, ranging from Flambe to Flanana. So, thanks to them for wonderful new names for my alts. But this intro isn't about them is it?! You can usually find me hanging out in the WildStar Turntable room, in fact I am in there as we speak. I also tend to be a fly on the wall in the WildStar-Central IRC. As for me outside of the WildStar relatedness, I am finishing up my CIS degree in the coming year. Other than that well, you'll just have to keep reading to find out!


Question 1:As this is a WildStar themed project, we'll get those underway first. As most of us at one time or another have asked ourselves, what is WildStar?

 Hrm, that is a very deep, thought provoking question. First question in and already making me think. Well, as I'm sure most of your readers already know, it is an up and coming Sci-Fi MMORPG from the good people over at Carbine Studios. To me it looks to be a new and exciting world filled with a fantastic art style, with a newly discovered world just waiting to be plundered by the Dominion.


Question 2: What is one thing in the game your most hoping to be perfectly done, whether because it's needed or just something for your experience specifically?

 End game content, and I don't just mean the 20/40 man raids, but things that make me not want to just stand around town between raids. Whether that be in the form of dailies feeling not so monotonous, or just areas around the world that say COME HERE AND DO THINGS WITH ME!

Question 3: I did a blog post discussing maybe why someone might pick one race over another in WildStar. What race do you think you identify with and why, even if it won't necessarily be your main?

 With the recent release of the last two races, my main will be a Chua. Out of the Dominion races I feel I identify mostly with them, and no its not because of any sociopathic tendencies...they seem to fall under the necessary evil category for the Dominion, of which I seem to find myself in that position more often than not. Also, I have been told I have a creepy laugh, so we have that in common.
     Aside from just identifying with the Chua, part of me does also identify with the Exiles, not any of their races particularly. but the whole being uprooted and having to move aspect. Since I had to moved multiple times growing up. But, that's all, I am glad to say that I do not have anything else in common with the filthy Exile.

Question 4: I'm sure everyone has their WildStar moment, as I call it, that quintessential thing that cinched in your decision on the game.

 I didn't learn about this game until early 2013. A guild mate posted something about it. After heading to the Wildstar site, it was the art style that first caught my eye, it seems games these days are trying to become more and more realistic with each passing year. While that can be neat at times, my life is realistic enough, I don't want to immerse myself in a game that is a near mirror image of life (visually), but I digress. The art style was not the quintessential gotcha moment that hooked me. It was just what kept me interested in digging through the sites and learning more about this game to be. I would have to say, and its probably true with many others out there, that the Path system is what really got me interested. I feel MMO's these days seem too scared to break out of the whole “this is what an MMO is and how to do it” box, sure some in recent years have tried to with small success. Of course all try to sell the 'play how you want to play', but they always seem to get stuck at PvE/PvP aspect of the 'play how you want to play'. Whereas, with WildStar, I feel, has broken through that box and gone past just the 'play how you want to play' in regards to PvE/PvP. With the Path system, you are not just given a chance to 'play how you want to play'. It rewards you for doing the things that you love to do when playing an MMO, and they've realized that it varies from person to person.
TL:DR Path's man, Path's...



Question 5: What aspect of WildStar are you most excited about and feel you'll spend the most time on such as Questing-Housing-PVP?

To be quite honest, there isn't one thing I am currently most excited about. Though, that could change between now and launch. I am excited for it all equally, since I will probably be dipping my hand into it all at one point or another. When playing I try not to focus solely too much on one aspect or another, else I would get burned out from the game. Which is probably true for most other people as well. I try to balance it all, so I may be in need of someone to come by my housing plot on some sort of monthly bases to do some dusting and mow the lawn, since I might forget to do that being busy with all the fun things I am sure WildStar will be offering. The roommate spot is still open.


Question 6: Out of everyone from Carbine that you've interacted with, who has surprised you the most for one thing or another by what you have seen that they have said or done so far?


The entire development team at Carbine all seem to be wonderful people, the amount of time and effort into interacting with the community is pretty awesome. I can't recall the last time a development team has been so much a part of the pre-launch community as the WildStar Devs have been. With that said, it's hard to single out anyone. Hanging out in the Turntable room, I have had the most interaction with Bardic (@Bardic_), Bull (@baoghal), and Jeff Kurtenacker (@JeffKurtenacker), though I have chatted with a number of others, all of whom had interesting things to say.
I guess the most surprising thing is the fact, as stated before, is just the somewhat nonchalant interaction they have with us. In that, I mean, they don't look down upon us as just vessels to give them money.         They will, when they aren't being completely distracted by their work have a conversation with us, and it doesn't always have to be about WildStar.
For instance, again this is Turntable related, a number of times Bull has started “theme music” selections, where the people djing have to follow a certain genre/time period of music, which is a lot of fun, and can sometimes be difficult to find a song to match, and then there are sometimes.... well lets just say, be glad your ears didn't hear what happened during “those” themes...
As conversation aren't always about WildStar when one of the Dev's talks speaks, another instance was with Bardic, and in this case she wasn't even at work (I know right, not at work! Blasphemy!), she was at home attempting to put her mini-me to bed, and once she mentioned that in the Turntable chat, we all started to play soothing/sleepy songs to help her out, and in no time, her mini-me was fast asleep.
Then there is Jeff Kurtenacker, oh Jeff, his Vines...amusing would be an understatement. As Lead Composer for the WildStar music, I will admit when I first saw him show up in the WildStar Central IRC chat, I may or may not of let out an audible fangirl squee....I mean, you get to experience the music created once you are inside the game, but how often do you get to talk to the Composer of those pieces and iterate your appreciation towards them. Though, amongst the fun and cool things that I have had the pleasure and privilege of talking with Jeff about. I think the highlight (thus far) was when I and a couple others, requested if it was possible to hear some (at the time) currently unreleased WildStar music. We knew full well that it probably wouldn't happen, but a few days later Jeff came into the Turntable room saying he had gotten permission to share a couple tracks, needless to say it was an epic few minutes.
     Well, those are just a few of the 'surprises' that I didn't expect to be experiencing from being apart of this awesome WildStar Community. There are many other snippets of stories with other Dev's but I am sure you all would like to get to the end of this sooner rather than much later. As I pretty much said at the start, all the WildStar Dev's are very cool people, treating us (the fans) as more than just vessels to monetary gain, makes me want to play the game even more.


Question 7: If you were given the power to either alter the game in some way or add something to it that has not been mentioned or rumored, what would it be and why?

 As stated in the previous answer, with the WildStar Dev's being so approachable, any idea I may have large or small, I can just bring it straight to them, of course warning them/asking them before the onslaught of the idea. Though admittedly the majority of any idea I may toss out, they'd have to be really bored and have nothing to do to for it to be implemented. But there really isn't anything, given the power I would want to add or change, from what they have shown/talked about, they are doing a wonderful job and I wouldn't want to change it.

Question 8: What is the one thing you want Carbine on a personal level or business level to know that you yourself have enjoyed from them?

Oh dear, there is a list of things I could say, I'm not sure where I would begin. So I'll just go with the old adage of, keep up the good work.

OK, that's it for the cross section on WildStar Q's. Next is a few Q's to get to know Flannan a bit better besides his amazing exploits across Nexus!





Question 9: Flannan, Your in Turntable a lot. Have you always been big on music?

Well, yes and no. No, I am admittedly tone deaf and can not play any instrument to save my soul (sorry Tenacious D the demon would beat me, though tricks on him as I'm a Ginger I don't have a soul).
Yes, in that I have always had an appreciation for those who are able to play the music, and even more so for those who create it. Music for me is very broad, as I may listen to some songs for the lyrics, some for the music itself, but mostly I listen to a song for how it feels. I don't just mean, the feeling you may get from hearing a sad or happy piece, but how the vibrations of the music feels against me, as it reverberates through my chest. It's hard to describe. So in that way I have always been 'big' on music, but there isn't a musical bone otherwise in my body.
      You know, with all this talk of music, and as this is about WildStar it would remiss of me not to mention the WildStar music that has currently been released. Of which you can find at the soundcloud website: https://soundcloud.com/inhisgroove . The music of course created by Carbine's resident wonderfully awesome Lead Composer Jeff Kurtenacker. I would have to say, my current favorite out of the ones they have released is 
“The Cold Science of Supremacy”.


Question 10: How long have you been gaming and what are your top 3 moments you'd say you remember in your own personal gaming history?

Adding together all the years (as there was a couple start and start points, growing up in Alaska, video games at times were a premium) I would take a guess at 10-15 years, some of those may have been of directly video game related, a couple might have been playing board games (Axis & Allies comes to mind) with my older brothers, or watching my oldest brother partake in his DnD group (it was more interesting to me at the time to watch than to partake). So my first experience with the video games was the Original Nintendo, then SNES, PS1/Xbox. I didn't get into PC gaming until my later teen years (again the whole Alaska internet being a premium), so my first real experience with an MMO was WoW when it came out. Though I did have a few friends who had been addicted to Everquest prior to that.
Alright with that rather brief gaming summary done, my top 3 gaming moments would probably have to be. Number 3, the damn dog from Duck Hunt, his taunting still haunts me to this day (I think he is where I got my laugh from and why I feel so in common with the Chua).
Number 2, it was during one New Years Eve, I hadn't planned anything, so I was just hanging out in WoW, around the time the in-game fireworks were about to start, a couple of my guildmates and I found ourselves in Thunderbluff, just standing there watching the fireworks. While I agree it is kind of sad/pitiful to some extent, it was a very poignant moment, just a couple of friends hanging out watching some fireworks, only difference was we were doing it in a game instead of outside in real life (hard to coordinate that when we all lived around the country).
Well that brings us to the number one, top spot for games and me, well its more of game related, it was the day I 'lost' our Original Nintendo to my brother, when we were deciding who would get to take it home with them during one Christmas get together. Lets just say, Rock/Paper/Scissors failed me that day.
Those moments may be a bit unconventional for gaming memories, but they are what stick out the most.

Question 11: Besides Gaming and Music do you have any other interests or hobbies you find fun?

I enjoy long walks on the... oh wait, that's not what this is about....Though I do enjoy going on walks/hikes and to go camping. Unplugging from technology every now and then is both good and fun.
Also, and this may sound odd or even wtf to some people, but just thinking, is something I try to do now and then, and/or thinking about thinking, it's harder than it may sound. It is really enjoyable especially when out hiking or camping. The following is a tongue twister that pretty much sums it up.
I thought a thought.
But the thought I thought
wasn't the thought I thought I thought.
If the thought I thought I thought
had been the thought I thought,
Did I really think at all?


Question 12: If there was one place in the world you could live where would it be and why?

 I would really enjoy to go back up and live in Alaska, as a Ginger, the heat and I do not get along very well, so the air up there is perfect for me, though it does get a tad cold sometimes. Aside from that the views of the landscape, can be breathe taking. The wildlife, just the whole package is amazing. And with there being very little 'light pollution' the sky at night is wonderful.

Question 13: Flannan, is there any hidden talents or trade skills you'd like to share? Is there something new you'd like to learn?

No hidden talents or trade skills here, just me. Every day there is something new to learn, sometimes not knowing what you're gonna learn is part of the experience. So, currently there isn't anything new that I want to learn right away, but if something new comes up during the day, I wont turn it away. Though, I might put it on the back burner, depending on how busy I am at that moment.

Question 14: Simple one now I promise. Do you have any pets? If you could have any real or made up pet, what would it be?

I currently don't have any pets living with me, unfortunately, though I did leave a few dogs behind in Alaska when I moved from there. As far as what real pet I would like to have, a Siberian husky/wolf mix. I had one when I was younger and it was a very good and loyal friend to me. For the imaginary pet, while there are many that are running through my head (some might even be flying) I think I would just stick with the Siberian husky/wolf mix, I already know how good of a companion it is.


Question 15: Finally, If there were one person living or dead, real or fake that you could sit down and have a long discussion with, who would it be and why?


Oh man, just one? I think I'll stick to real and dead, for this. Though, some fake ones would be just as interesting. It might be a bit cliche to say, but I would probably have to go with a philosopher, Plato or Aristotle. Well, as long as there is a language translator if we ran into any issues like that. I just think it would be a very interesting conversation to hear first hand the thoughts they have on it all.


OK, Flannan, I hope that wasn't too painful for you. I appreciate you being the first guest for the Sunday Sit down. Now, I’ll let you have free reign. If there's anything else not asked here that you'd like to get out there that you think would be interesting for us to know, feel free to share. Things like plugs for your twitter or anything, and of course feel free to give shout outs of any kind!


I'm Free! I'm free! Oh wait, I still have these plugs attached to me, right so. As it has been mentioned a few times amongst my ranting, turntable is a very fun place to hangout and listen to music while befriending other people of the WildStar community, and even a few dev's as well! Www.turntable.fm/wildstar is where you wanna go for all that excitement. There are so many cool people in this community, it would not be fair to give a shout out to just anyone in specific and not mention the many others, (if I were to mention them all you'd be here all night reading the list).
I am still relatively new to the whole Twitter thing, having only made one so I can follow WildStar news. But if you feel the need to follow the rantings of a crazed Ginger, @Flannan_ would be the handle I go by.


That's it Folks. Everything you'd want to know about Flannan and hopefully more! I thank him again for putting up with me as well as you the reader. Each and every week we will have a new and fascinating community member to learn about and see what really does make the WildStar community tick inside and out. Feel free to contact me anytime on twitter @zilvis78, comment below, or if you bump into me on the interwebs say hi!


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Saturday Night Sketch! The Mordesh Family!

How do you make the WildStar race of Mordesh more creepy and kooky?


A special thanks to Trista McNulty @Immaculata
for this via Twitter...

"They're Exiles and they're vermin,
from the Dominion they'll be learning!
Real life is what they're yearning,
They are the Mordesh family!"

Friday, July 26, 2013

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Good things, great people!

   


       Hello all in Nexus, Twitterland, Turntable, and beyond. This week i'm going to talk about things people don't have to do but do it anyways. Naturally i'm going to discuss the Arkships that Carbine puts on for fans. Now I'm not sure i'll ever have the chance to attend one of these but I do want to give them props. Now for those of you that have no idea what an Arkship is, Carbine: Makers of a little game called WildStar will invite fans to these special parties to celebrate and meet. Now yes I know conventions and after parties do happen occasionally, but from what I've read, heard, and seen this is drastically different. In true Carbine fashion they have not only guest appearances and exclusive game play, but are completely interactive as well. They party right alongside, not trying to be anything but hospitable and naturally simply people. 
       I watched the internet buzz all during the Friday party, saw the pics being tweeted, and heard from people from there and it sounded way more then it ever could have been. On a personal standpoint a Dev personally passed along a little message to a friend that I sent via Twitter (Which I'll elaborate on this Fri.) and I found that particularly killer. People like Josh mills, Kash of Mognation, and Mythos of WildStarLore.com all had a blast and walked away with many great things to say.
       So what is my point of this? They do not have to do this. They are a great company of great people. The game looks so promising and solid why they do such amazing extra work astounds me. This isn't some fluff piece of "I'm a Carbine Fanboy" it's an honest observation of something never needed but much appreciated. All the twitter stuff, rocking out in Turntable, and appearances in forums and chats is all great things that really makes the community feel connected. The extra-extra step of having these parties is just something that makes people say Carbine is a company of people, not just "devs" or "Industry professionals".
      Them doing this and everything else promotes that not only do they want their game to succeed through the community, but that they want it done is such a way that is comfortable and relaxing. They don't want us to say its just another MMO or we're just simply players of their game. What this says to me is we're all in this together and together we will evolve this already amazing project and create a community like none other. If there's another community as overall close knit and full of not only amazing peeps excited for the game but also developers doing what Carbine is doing I dare them to compare notes.:) I don't see it happening and it's all thanks to everyone involved, them and us which seems blurred-mixed-and muddled and I don't know about Chua but I like it that way! (Yes I had to get one pun in guys...it's me after all)
      

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday Sit down number 2! "Shamazing!" with Shalanigh




Shamazing!”

Hello Exiles and Dominion of the planet Nexus and beyond! My name is Zilvis. This is my end of the week community spotlight that I’ll be doing each and every week to delve a little more into who a certain member of the WildStar community is, learn the what and why of their choice to migrate to Nexus, and maybe some surprises along the way. The way I looked at it we're all community bound like brothers and sisters in this game of WildStar. Why not get to know someone a bit better? Once again welcome, sit back, and prepare to meet this week's community member, Shalanigh, or as some of us call him 'Diddy'. Welcome to Sunday Sit down.
 I’ll let you write a little introduction. 
If you have other monikers some may know you by, feel free to throw them out there. Mainly just tell  where people can find you online and any background you'd like to share we might not know.

Before I start I just want to say, you, (points at you) you're awesome for reading this. I don't care what the others said about you, you're okay in my book.

With that, I say herro! I'm Ryan. Like mentioned above I am know as, Shalanigh. Shalanigh is pretty much the only original name I felt I ever came up with when making a character in WoW....now watch, someone's going to make some reference like, “Shalanigh is the secondary character in (something we've never heard of), be original, newb!”

Diddy is how a lot of people know me from Turntable.

Lotsa people know me from my WoW characters, Mors, Shalanigh (of course!), Tubs, and Toonces.




Question 1:As this is a WildStar themed project, we'll get those underway first. As most of us at one time or another have asked ourselves, what is WildStar?

I'll share this info with you, only because I like you...I wrote an article on this very question! I didn't really advertise it because I haven't really written anything big since college. It's published on my friends site, here it is: http://criticalgeeking.com/2013/06/19/what-is-wildstar/
Basically, I tried to put all the info we knew into one article. Short and sweet answer: It's an upcoming sci-fi MMORPG developed by Carbine Studios!


Question 2: What is one thing in the game your most hoping to be perfectly done, whether because it's needed or just something for your experience specifically?

    I have to say the elder game is the thing that I want to be done perfectly. I don't race to the cap, but I also don't really stop to smell the roses,either. But what I do know is that I spend most of my time at cap and I'd like plenty of good options




Question 3: I recently did a blog post discussing maybe why someone might pick one race over another in WildStar. What race do you think you identify with and why, even if it won't necessarily be your main?

I have the resilience of a Human.
I have the determination and drive of a Cassian.
I have the strength and general bad ass-ness of a Granok.
I have the pride and honor of a Draken.
I have the scrappiness of a Aurin.
I am sophisticated like a Mechari.
I carry the contagion of the Mordesh.
I am sociopathic like the Chua.

I'll be a Dominion tank, with a path of scientist or soldier.

a



Question 4: I'm sure everyone has their WildStar moment, as I call it, that quintessential thing that cinched in your decision on the game.

Paths were the thing that made me look into Wildstar more. Giving me more of the content I like....genius! Though I'd like to say the community and developers also had a role in helping me decide that I was going to be playing Wildstar.





Question 5: What aspect of WildStar are you most excited about and feel you'll spend the most time on such as Questing-Housing-PVP?

PvE – Lore is what I'm most excited for. It's the reason I played WoW for so long. I am also super excited about the mentoring system...which I hope they give a DevSpeak or more information on eventually. A mentoring system for me means I won't really have much reason for alts unless I have to make a new character on a different server. But with mentoring I don't have to make a new character every time I get a friend to roll on my server. I can just mentor down...which I really like!


Question 6: Out of everyone from Carbine that you've interacted with, who has surprised you the most for one thing or another by what you have seen that they have said or done so far?

My top 3 moments so far with interacting with Carbine peeps have been:
  1. Mr. @JeffKurtenacker came in Turntable and played tracks not yet released! You sir, are amazing!
  2. Mr. @baoghal asking us for trash item names and the hilariousness that ensued. (Mechari polish ftw!)
  3. Cheering on our Queen of the Flame, Bringer of Light to the Worthy, Hostess of Destruction, Wielder of the Face Melter @bardic. Kneel or burn in her wake! Pyromancers unite!





Question 7: If you were given the power to either alter the game in some way or add something to it that has not been mentioned or rumored, what would it be and why?

I think this was like the only idea I came up with that I liked: It was from a post on Wildstar Central about guild tabards and what people wanted. ZapRobo had a good idea that I kind of piggy-backed onto, he suggest some kind of hologram that projected your guild emblem. I suggested like a samurai banner but instead of the banner, being cloth have it project a hologram. As to why, I think it's cool. I do kinda feel like it wouldn't fit but I still like it.

I

Question 8: What is the one thing you want Carbine on a personal level or business level to know that you yourself have enjoyed from them?

The correct answer for this is their participation and interaction with the community! They are so awesome for keeping us company and chatting it up with us! <3 you all!




OK, that's it for the cross section on WildStar Q's. Next is a few Q's to get to know Shalanigh a bit better besides his amazing exploits across Nexus!





Question 9: Shalanigh, I met you on turntable. So, what does music do for you on a daily basis?

Drowns out the BS of my roommates, so I don't have to hear the crap they go through daily. With Turntable specifically, I really enjoy learning new music I hear in there and my library is expanding everyday!




Question 10: You game quite a bit. How long have you been gaming and what are your top 3 moments you'd say you remember in your own personal gaming history?

I've been gaming since the mid-late 80's. Starting with a NES. As far as the top 3 moments they'd have to be:
  1. Introduction to video games: Starting with the NES I remember me and my brother (I was no older then 4) playing Track & Field on the giant game pad. Oh the memories!
  2. Introduction to MMORPGs with pictures: Back in middle school me and my friends would play MUDs on our computers (well, I used my friends extra computer because I didn't own one.). Then one of my friends told me to come over he just got back from Best Buy and had to show me something. I get over to his place and he is still installing this game called “Everquest”. He explained to me,”It's a MUD with pictures!” My jaw dropped and I said, “No effing way!”
  3. Work and effort pays off: Though I said I played EQ, I was never in a raiding guild or did anything spectacular in that game. I was pretty much just a casual player that grinded to max level and was just enthralled by the world...even though I wasn't doing much in it. Fast forward to WoW I learned about guilds and raiding. When I got to max level and joined a guild that my friends were in, the guild was halfway through Molten Core. I'd say MC was my practicing grounds for becoming a true raider. Blackwing's Lair was my true test as a raider. When we finally beat that zone I knew I was a better gamer because of it. It was such a fun and challenging place.


Question 11: Besides Gaming and Music do you have any other interests or hobbies you find fun?

I have a bass guitar I like to try and play (I'm not very good). The amount of time I spend in Turntable I think it's safe to say that's a hobby.




Question 12: Is there a favorite movie or tv genre your especially into? Do you have a favorite movie trilogy or series?

When it comes to movies I'll give anything a shot. I am very easy going when it comes to what I watch. In the recent years my favorite series have been:
House (was sad when the series ended), The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Spartacus, Game of Thrones (easily my favorite), Archer, and Doctor Who (just started watching on Netflix a couple months ago).
As far as trilogies go, it's hard not to pick Star Wars.



Question 13: Shalanigh, is there any talents or trade skills you'd like to share? Is there something new you'd like to learn?

I can't think of any special skills.
I do watch a show called Man-At-Arms on youtube with a veteran blacksmith and I would love to learn how to do that stuff.



Question 14: Simple one now I promise. Do you have any pets? If you could have any real or made up pet, what would it be?

I have two kitties! Kiki and Kiko, they're sisters! They are Russian Blues and I got them as a graduation gift when I graduated from high school. We also have 9 chickens and a turkey that occupy our backyard.
A dragon would be an awesome pet that I wish I could have. Screw flying cars...I'll just fly my freakin' dragon!




Question 15: Finally, If there were one person living or dead, real or fake that you could sit down and have a long discussion with, who would it be and why?

Daenerys Targaryen – Maybe she'd let me borrow one of her dragons?





OK, Shalanigh, I hope that wasn't too painful for you. I appreciate you being the first guest for the Sunday Sit down. Now, I’ll let you have free reign. If there's anything else not asked here that you'd like to get out there that you think would be interesting for us to know, feel free to share. Things like plugs for your twitter or anything, and of course feel free to give shout outs of any kind!

As far as where you can find me on the interwebz of massive tubes, I joined Twitter just for Wildstar and you can find me at @Shalanigh. I'm kind of tweetarded and still figuring out, but you can follow me and I'll follow you back. :)

Shout out to all the people that hang out in Turntable! You're the bestest! Carbine peeps, keep on keepin' on! SVG - #DominionDomination

And of course, thank you Zilvis for this oppurtunity! :)

Back to spinning records in Turntable for me! C yas~



That's it Folks. Everything you'd want to know about Shalanigh and hopefully more! I thank him again for putting up with me as well as you the reader. Each and every week we will have a new and fascinating community member to learn about and see what really does make the WildStar community tick inside and out. Feel free to contact me anytime on twitter @zilvis78, comment below, or if you bump into me on the interwebs say hi!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Saturday Night Sketch: Chua up everyone!

So it was mentioned as a joke (maybe) and now because it's a thing enjoy the Chua Rangers!


Friday, July 19, 2013

Nexus Newscast 1.0 Rowsdower, Turntable, and Reveals OH my!


Welcome Nexians to the first edition of Nexus Newscast, a weekly round up of at least some of the happening around the WildStar community and beyond. Click below to listen and links will be provided below of anything talked about in this Newscast, grab a drink and/or snack, and enjoy!

NEXUS NEWSFLASH 1.0








WildStarLore http://Wildstarlore.com 


Race Reveal "Flick"




Tuesday, July 16, 2013

You don't know Jack

Hey Guys and Gals of Nexus! We here at Protostartopia recently had a bit of a time-slip happen, yeah our engineer decided to eat some stew we won't speak of(he's a Draken)and did drop some in the hyper drive. Because of that we were forced to now have this blog on Tuesdays time slot. Fear not though, coming this Friday we will be debuting a new segment where you actually get to hear the voice of Protostartopia in a show called Nexus Newsflash. Think of it as half a week's review on some of the event from the fine folks of Nexus, and half comments on whatever is on out mind at the time. As always with this blog and Nexus Newsflash opinions are our own,we do not claim to know the mysteries of the universe so don't yell at us!:)
       Now then for this week i'm not going to be vindictive or nasty about this(because that's not how I work)but I want to talk about media misrepresentation when gaming is involved. What do I mean by media misrepresentation? Simply put it's things like game review websites or gaming mega sites maybe jumping the gun, assuming(and we know what that means), and mis-reading things yet still reporting and basically saying "well this is what we believe is the reason for this," So while yes sometimes they will change their articles later or state it's their opinion(and opinions are fine in some ways)they are causing stryfe or stress among some gamers at least. 
     Now don't think i'm going to give a list of sites doing this, I actually know 3 for sure but I can give vague examples and just reiterate why I think this is wrong. So when companies tweet or fb post teasers or something why automatically go to the throat of the whys of the teasers? Now if generally the community discusses it and says "Oh it could mean this or that." IT HURTS NO ONE. Now if a media site that many people go to and is widely advertised across the night see the same things and says "This must mean this, we're gonna get new info!" PEOPLE GET ANNOYED. So why throw conjecture out there and good journalism out the window? Pro-tip it's to get views, clicks, comments, or whatever they deem is a success for their site.
     Other examples include seeing people who work for a company put out personal Vines and jumping on it saying "Ohhh what do they mean by this?" Again you can speculate all you want but automatically say X means X and that's it means nothing even if you retract it. It's disrespectful to the REAL fans of said game and each time they do it at least in my view makes them less credible. The  final example is when games put out offical news saying "We are trying out a new system as a test" and these sites auto assuming AND stating that the game could be failing/going free/back peddling. This is another example of something that annoys and can upset fans of that game and I don't see one single reason to officially announce such things without hard proof FROM THE COMPANY. Basically all i'm saying is let the word come down from on high, when they say "We are putting this or doing this for the game" then report it,it's not guessing at that point especially when your a big and well respected there's no chance of looking foolish, unless you really want that or don't simply care then feel free and  carry on!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

SUNDAY SIT DOWN NUMBER 1 FEATURING DRUIDSFIRE



From the Ashes

Hello Exiles and Dominion of the planet Nexus and beyond! My name is Zilvis. This is my end of the week community spotlight that I’ll be doing each and every week to delve a little more into who a certain member of the WildStar community is, learn the what and why of their choice to migrate to Nexus, and maybe some surprises along the way. The way I looked at it we're all community bound like brothers and sisters in this game of WildStar. Why not get to know someone a bit better? Once again welcome, sit back, and prepare to meet this week's community member, Druidsfire, sometimes known as Phoenix. Welcome to Sunday Sit down.
 I’ll let you write a little introduction. 
If you have other monikers some may know you by, feel free to throw them out there. Mainly just tell  where people can find you online and any background you'd like to share we might not know.


Oh hai! My name is Jean, known to either the WSRP folks as Phoenix or generally on most other media as Druidsfire (cos Phoenix is always taken). The only major exception to this is DeviantArt, where I'm Jayekitty cos shockingly, Druidsfire was already taken. I'm a 40-year-old gamer with 20 years of experience with online text-based adventures (MUSHes). I've been playing MMOs since 2006.



Question 1:As this is a WildStar themed project, we'll get those underway first. As most of us at one time or another have asked ourselves, what is WildStar?

WildStar is an MMO that has decided that it might innovate some of the genre conventions, but it appeals to me mostly because of the cheerfully belligerent attitudes within the lore and for the voice-overs.


Question 2: What is one thing in the game your most hoping to be perfectly done, whether because it's needed or just something for your experience specifically?

Well, even though I play MMOs, which by its very name implies lots and lots of group content, my schedule ensures I don't often get to find groups for many activities in other MMOs, with Star Wars: the Old Republic being a rare exception due to which guild I'm in. Therefore, I'd like to see enough soloable content that those of us who can't find groups readily will still be able to enjoy a majority of the game. I'm not advocating that everything can be soloed, cos that's quite foolish. However, something the Lord of the Rings Online folks did was edit their Epic Story questlines so that a solo player could play through it and enjoy the story. For me, story will always trump mechanics (no offense to the Carbine folks whose job it is to create those mechanics).


Question 3: I recently did a blog post discussing maybe why someone might pick one race over another in WildStar. If you can (given a couple are still missing) what race do you think you identify with and why, even if it won't necessarily be your main?

I can see myself playing any of them. None of them inherently turn me off as a race. Now, in terms of attitudes of the faction, I'm totally leaning toward the scrappy Exiles more than the snotty Dominion. I tend to root for the underdogs rather than the guys and girls in charge. Interestingly enough, even though I tend to see the Dominion as the 'evil' faction and the Exiles as the 'good' one, much like the Empire and Rebels in Star Wars, I'm also often taken aback by the simple fact soooooo many people bend over backwards to justify or rationalize their participation in the 'evil' faction in a game or in a genre. It's a concept that fascinates me because of the parallels to real life in many aspects.


Question 4: I'm sure everyone has their WildStar moment, as I call it, that quintessential thing that cinched in your decision on the game.


That moment when Kit Brinny punched out her camera operator. I mean, I liked the spunky Exile, and that LOL moment clinched it. The whole cheerful belligerent 'buckle up, cupcake' attitude in a lot of the videos appeals to me, but that singular moment... POW. :D


Question 5: What aspect of WildStar are you most excited about and feel you'll spend the most time on such as Questing-Housing-PVP?

There's still a lot of new car smell to WildStar, but the bits of game that always appeal to me most is the notion of exploring new areas and seeing what the story has for us. I'll admit that Star Wars: the Old Republic has seriously spoiled me in terms of epic storyline in an MMO, and it will be hard for Carbine to top that, but I'd like to see what they do. I expect I'll be spending most of my time questing and exploring and crafting.

Question 6: Out of everyone from Carbine that you've interacted with, who has surprised you the most for one thing or another by what you have seen that they have said or done so far?


Sooooo many excellent choices here, but despite the fact that Aether is my sister's former boss during their days on Pirates of the Burning Sea, and I've made Scooter play messenger boy for me during his days at BioWare Austin, I have to say since I've started interacting with Carbine folks, I'd have to vote for composer Jeff Kurtenacker. Not only does he share some of his compositions on his Soundcloud page, he sometimes shows up in Turntable and DJs for us. And he has a very bad habit of making cute little Vine recordings for fans who have had bad days or as sneaky little presents. He's a good egg. :)


Question 7: If you were given the power to either alter the game in some way or add something to it that has not been mentioned or rumored, what would it be and why?

Granted, I'm not in beta, so I can't speak too much in terms of what may or may not be in-game, as my single exposure was at the PAX East party where they had a playable demo. However, I would always add story and lore. Every. Single. Time. For me, an MMO is an MMO is an MMO. I've played both EverQuests, SWG, LotRO, WoW, Aion, SWTOR, poked my nose into a couple of other games for a few minutes. In the broadest of strokes, each of these games more or less play the same. The fine details are different in mechanics, the UI, whatever. However, what appeals to me the most is the lore. SWG, SWTOR, and LotRO have the benefits of being known IPs, so certain expectations were there to begin with, certain checklists that need to be completed. With the others, the sky is literally the limit, but they still play like an MMO. I didn't perceive WildStar to be that vastly different and game changing (pun entirely intended). However, the story in some of these MMOs has to be oh so serious (SWTOR and LotRO, I'm looking at you, even though I love you for what you are), but dammit, I like some wackiness in my games. Even WoW, with its inundation of in-jokes and puns and pop culture references, takes itself too seriously at the heart of its lore. One thing I seriously appreciate about WildStar and adore Pappylicious for is the fact that its lore doesn't take itself too seriously.


Question 8: What is the one thing you want Carbine on a personal level or business level to know that you yourself have enjoyed from them?


I have enjoyed the very simple fact that not only are they intending to make a game and take their time doing it (and doing it right), but also that they are innovating the one thing that most companies only tend to pay lip service to: actual honest interactions with their community. I'm not talking about the fact that when I'm writing this, a dev is in Turntable DJing with us. I'm talking about things like the Pay It Forward campaign to showcase the fan community and its creativity and devotion to one another. I'm talking about opening the game from day one with add-on creation tools to allow the players to help make the game better. There's also the Arkship events where oft-neglected segments of the fan communities (such as the roleplayers) are actively courted by Carbine, whereas most other MMO companies give them one or two tools to work with but don't really interact with them as long as they're not breaking the game in any appreciable way. I know they're putting in stupid numbers of hours to get this game right, but yet they still have time for us and to actively listen to our feedback. In this sort of industry, that's freaking important and epic.

OK, that's it for the cross section on WildStar Q's. Next is a few Q's to get to know Druid a bit better outside of just what you'll see as she tears across Nexus.





Question 9: So Druid, I met you informally on twitter and a chat or two, but really got to know you on turntable.  You do DJ an internet radio show on Fridays. So, what does music do for you on a daily basis?

Well, when I'm at work at my day job in a call center, music playing quietly in one ear has the ability to keep me leveled and centered while I'm taking care of business. When I'm writing, I often turn on an ambient playlist made up of some classical music, mostly instrumental video game music, quiet piano music, that sort of thing. I wouldn't say I tune it out entirely, but it's a nice quiet sound in the background. I've shamelessly put Jeff Kurtenacker's Soundcloud page on repeat and used it for an evening of writing on more than one occasion.



Question 10: You game quite a bit. How long have you been gaming and what are your top 3 moments you'd say you remember in your own personal gaming history?

I've played video games since the Atari 2600 days. Did you know that the entire Atari 2600 library is only 274K? Yep. After the Atari days, I then moved on to the 'blow on the cartridge' days of the original Legend of Zelda on the NES. Castlevania II is the game that forever made me a fan of game music (although Zelda helped that too). I've stuck mostly with Nintendo stuff because of Link and his adventures. So, that was #1, becoming a music fan.

In 2006, after years of mocking 'EverCrack' and 'WarCrack', my muse woke up and told me I had to write a parody about WoW based on a very solemn Pink Floyd song. I could have just gone googling and written something, mouthed a bunch of the jargon, but I felt that was disrespectful to both the game and the genre of parody. I hate parodists who write songs just to be topical or to pay lip service to the thing they're writing about, rather than working from any knowledge of the topic... it comes from my days as a history major. The professors could always tell when someone was spouting BS, so it would have felt fake and wrong to write a song about WoW and not actually have played the game. So I joined up and learned the lingo from the inside. Then a month or so later, the ads started up for Burning Crusade, and I did like me some blue space goats... and the pretty elves had a phoenix as their symbol. Well, let's just say that I've never stopped being a subscriber. :)

Finally, my biggest gaming accomplishment is simply having made so many friends across the internet because of not only my sister being in the industry and introducing me to so many people, but also for using social media to make connections with other folks in the industry and in fan communities. These connections have let me become staff writer for the largest SWTOR fansite, be witness to things such as watching Stephen 'Rockjaw' Reid (a veteran con/show goer due to his career in the industry) getting his mind blown by showing up at Dragon*Con, or getting to meet Aether for the first time (and watching Scooter's reaction to seeing him and I talking – rocket-propelled overeager puppy), or blowing Packetdancer's mind by informing her that I've known her longer than I've known my own half-sister. :D

Question 11: I know you've gone to Conventions quite often. What is it that attracted you to Conventions and to keep going back.

I started going to cons when I was in college mumblemumble years ago, generally with a few friends from the university's SF/F club. In 1995, I went to my first Dragon*Con, and aside from 1996 (when I moved to Cincinnati), I've been there every year since. At first, I'd go to the cons to see the celebrities and get my photo taken with them (yes, I have a photo of myself, some friends, Jewel Staite, and Nathan Fillion during the Firefly days). After awhile, I started helping out and did a few years staffing, such as running the music track at PenguiCon for a couple of years, running the famous merch table at MarsCon (MN) for the comedy music track this year. I also merch monkey for Paul and Storm when I can, and a couple of steampunk bands have stayed at my house when they're visiting Cincinnati. So, cons have turned into a 'hang out with my people' sort of thing, with attending actual panels being relegated to secondary importance.



Question 12: It's no secret your a fan of Star Wars. Have you always liked the franchise since a young age or was it something you grew into?

Ironically (or perhaps sadly), I never saw the original trilogy in the theater due to my family situation back then. However, I had a most sadistic choir teacher when I was in middle school who insisted on us singing the Ewok song for the big concert that year. So, yub nub, eee chop yub nub. Ah toe meet toe peechee keene, g'noop dock fling oh aaaaah.

Yeah, that just happened, no Google needed.

Still, I saw the original trilogy on the plate-sized laserdiscs back in the day, and to this day, if I watch the Millennium Falcon flying into the hangar bay on the Death Star, I think it's time to flip the disc over. I'd have to say that my love of the series grew over the years, however. Unlike most of the fans I knew, I favored ancillary character Wedge Antilles, a fact that is highly amusing when you consider the fact that my sister and I 'fight' over whose boyfriend he is... and we weren't raised together. It's quite eerie how many things Donna and I like (the bands Rush and Information Society) with no knowledge of the other's likes or dislikes over the years until we finally met up in the late 90s. Here's a fact for you... when SOE still had SWG going and they started their 'fan of the month' sort of showcase, she was their first honoree.

Since then, I've made a few costumes and bought a few lightsabers... okay, I have five. :) One of the coolest things that came out of my love of Star Wars is that I made the acquaintance of one Consetta Parker, the agent for voice actor James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan in Clone Wars, Ratchet of Ratchet and Clank, etc.). She egged me into making my first-ever Sith costume and going to Celebration VI, and I got to meet her and James and also meet the Rancho Obi-Wan crew. Excellent people, all.


Question 13: Druid, I’ve seen your art, writing, and  costumes design for conventions which are all very stylized and creative. If there was anything else you'd wish to learn whether a trade or talent, what would it be?

Well, actually, it's not so much that I'd like to learn more, which I do. What I'd like to do even more than learn a wider variety of things is actually buckle down and focus on just one particular craft and master it to what I feel is an acceptable standard. I consider my skills to be perhaps upper-apprentice, maybe lower-end journeyman in terms of quality. My thoughts on how well I do versus how much I get praised for it focus on a quote from guitar god David Gilmour of Pink Floyd a few years ago. He denied he had mastered the guitar. I'll heartily call him a liar to his face for that, but the artist is always going to be less impressed with his or her own skills than the people around them. So, I'm above 'glue some gears on it and call it steampunk' stage of things, but I would never consider myself even exceptional. There are so many writers and artists out there, costumers and cosplayers with skills and talents far beyond mine... and I recognize that much of what I perceive to be lackluster in my work compared to their skills can be chalked up to not taking the time to learn the skills and not taking the time to practice to fully realize those skills. So while someone might praise my art, I want to learn to be better than what I am now.

I will admit that I have grown in my writing and artistic skills. A decade ago, I was happy just to copy someone else's work, but strictly for my own personal aggrandizement, just to learn technique. I did a lot of realistic portrait work, but nothing I would consider very original or artistic. However, the past few years, I'm happy to be able to do more wholly original pieces of art, and I've made progress in attempting a career in writing, something I need to spend more time learning my craft as well.

The bottom line is the old adage: Jean of All Trades, Mistress of None.

For once, I'd like to be that master of a trade. Just one. Or maybe two. :)


Question 14: Simple one now I promise. Do you have any pets?  If you could have any real or made up pet, what would it be?

I have a clan of kittehs, all black. They're awesome critters, and their names are Mew, Yowl, Mystery, and Thief. They all earned their names. If I could have any other pet, I think I'd like a Pernese firelizard. I don't know why, but I've always been taken with these fictional critters from Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series.


Question 15: Finally, If there were one person living or dead, real or fake that you could sit down and have a long discussion with, who would it be and why?

I have had the incredible fortune of meeting a stupid number of people whose work I admired (such as David Tennant, David Gilmour, Patrick Stewart, and Weird Al). There are also a number of people out there who I'd like to meet because they have done great things and are positive influences in our society (Bill Nye, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Brian Cox), but I think perhaps the one person I've always been fascinated with is her majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second. I'm not even sure why, because she has been a figurehead for her entire life, but I think I would like to have tea with the Queen.



OK, Druidsfire, I hope that wasn't too painful for you. I appreciate you being the first guest for the Sunday Sit down. Now, I’ll let you have free reign. If there's anything else not asked here that you'd like to get out there that you think would be interesting for us to know, feel free to share. Things like plugs for your radio show, twitter, websites, your articles you regularly write and of course feel free to give shout outs of any kind!

My weekly article on TORWars.com is published on Fridays under the title 'SWTOR Loading Screen'.

My personal wannabe-professional writer website is http://druidsfire.com.

My radio show is on Friday nights from 8-10pm Eastern time on http://dementiaradio.org. It's a comedy music station that doesn't heed the FCC rules, so it's rarely SFW. I currently hold the record for the most number of listeners (105) on Dementia Radio whilst hosting a CD release party for steampunk band Abney Park. I'm also the only DJ to have broadcast a show from overseas while on holiday in the UK, and hold the altitude record for a pirate-casted song from 32,000 feet while flying home from PAX East in 2012. The song in question was Devo Spice and Insane Ian's 'Flight Check'.

The first-ever She-Ra: Princess of Power website is http://www.spundreams.net/~phoenix/SheRa. I made that when I was in college and probably haven't updated it since then either. :)

Hmm. I founded a mailing list on the Penn State servers 20 years ago for the relatively obscure vampire cop TV show Forever Knight. The list is still going.

I once edited a fake magazine based on a song by The Brobdingnagian Bards called 'Do Virgins Taste Better' called The Medieval Virgin. You can buy a copy at http://www.lulu.com/us/en/shop/marc-gunn/the-medieval-virgin-vol-1/paperback/product-454720.html

I also feature as lead writer for a parody of 'Old Dun Cow' called 'When the Dairy Farm Caught Fire' on Marc Gunn's CD Whiskers in the Jar. Marc has two CDs of Irish drinking songs parodied into various fun feline stories. Whiskers in the Jar was on the longlist for Grammy nominations in the year it was eligible.

In 2005, I produced a charity comedy CD for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, with the proceeds going to the American Red Cross. That CD and its first volume are available at http://funnymusicians.com and the second volume that was my idea features artists such as Weird Al and Barnes and Barnes. Funny story, in 2011, I had the chance to thank Al for donating a remixed track to the effort and let him know how much we'd raised for the Red Cross, and he thanked me for giving him the opportunity to help out. Classy guy.




That's it Folks. Everything you'd want to know about Druidsfire and hopefully more! I thank her again for putting up with me as well as you the reader. Each and every week we will have a new and fascinating community member to learn about and see what really does make the WildStar community tick inside and out. Feel free to contact me anytime on twitter @zilvis78, comment below, or if you bump into me on the interwebs say hi!