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Thread: Black Desert Online

  1. #1
    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    Default Black Desert Online



    So the last two months of my time has been consumed by this.

    It has given me all the things from MMORPGs that I like, which no single MMORPG offering has given me since, well, since the WoW benchmark.

    I played quite a lot of Guild Wars 2, but the bland combat eventually drove me away.
    Tera had excellent combat, but the rest fell a little short.
    Elder Scrolls online and FFXIV I dabbled with, but both were lacking in some key area or other, and neither involved me.
    Wildstar was ok for a while but again it was the combat which was its downfall.
    Other recent MMORPGs have been too-instance oriented, and don't provide the cohesive sense of being in a world.

    Black Desert Online absolutely hits my sweetspot. It is more on the RPG side than the MMO side, more of an enormous sandbox than other MMOs.

    There are no raids, no instances, none of the traditional hardcore MMO elements. What there is instead is a huge world to explore and exploit. There isn't even any fast-travel option, meaning you have to travel to get anywhere, by foot, or donkey, or horseback or wagon. Or make yourself a boat and travel by water. Fish while you're at it. It's this aspect that I like the most; you have to take your time to get to the places you need to get to in order to do the next thing you need to do. And while you're travelling to one thing, you have the time to attend to other things that need attending to.

    Set up farms and go farming. Connect villages, towns and cities through exploration, then build a wagon and make some money by trading from town to town. Rent out houses in the towns and villages to build facilities for crafting. Crafting anything. Hire workers to do some of the crafting for you. Or send them off to farm, or mine, or log wood. Turn one of the houses into a residence, where you can cook stuff, or get into alchemy if that's your thang. Make wood, refine it, make furniture. Hire a maid to go collect things for you. Pets. Discover wild horses. Tame them. Train them. Breed them even. Build your empire. Expand and diversify.

    It's these so-called life-skills which make the game so involving. And the sense of progress is slow but steady, and really drives you onward.

    PC Gamer has a recent review which sums up this main element of the game nicely:
    It took me about 30 minutes to realize merely walking across Black Desert Online’s beautiful, sprawling world takes too damn long. There’s no fast travel, so I needed a mount. I hit up the local stable master and he gave me a donkey. It took me another 30 seconds to realize that, astoundingly, riding a donkey is even slower than walking. I had shit to do, so I needed a horse. But instead of giving the stable master another chance to disappoint me, I shook him down for carrots and rope and set out to tame my own steed.

    The next thing I knew, four hours had passed, I’d mapped out half the starting continent, and I had tamed more horses than my then-mediocre stable could even hold.

    This is what happens when you play Black Desert Online. You start out with a simple goal: “I want that thing,” you quite reasonably decide. It’s a great thing; who wouldn’t want it? You ask global chat and Google how to get that thing and the two inform you that you need to do this and that. Then before you even get to that, you wind up knee-deep in this, which could be any one of the game’s dozens of involved and interwoven skills and systems.

    Remember those carrots I got? They sucked too; the stringy things barely recovered any of my horse’s stamina. So I started farming my own special carrots. I also cooked up some sugar cubes so that I could better entice wild horses. To keep my rope supplies up, I knocked out a few quests for pocket change. I did all this just to get a horse. It’s a small example, but the thrill of learning and connecting mechanics and economies underscores what makes Black Desert such a compelling RPG.

    _____________


    The combat is also superb. Hits are meaty and feel like they do damage. The keyboard sequences are intuitive, the combos fluid, the results are satisfying. The mobs and bosses are challenging. It's also unusual in that there are no combat numbers. No 1k hits, or 10k crits. No 400 exp from quest completion or mob kills. You rely more on intuition and trial and error than number crunching, finding out what sequence of moves works, what doesn't. Wasn't sure at first but I've come to appreciate this approach. It's well-balanced.

    PvP is there but I've yet to experience it. There is PK which can occur, otherwise there are battlegrounds and Node Wars, which are primarily guilds fighting for territory from what I can gather.

    This is a Korean creation, so some of the character classes have an Oriental bent, such as the Musa, Maewha, Koinichi, Ninja, along with your more traditional MMO classes like Warrior, Ranger, Wizard etc.

    Each class brings great variety to combat, with no overlap between the types. Different specialties are there, like the tanks, damage dealers, crowd-controllers and AoE providers.

    ~

    I've not been so hooked on a game in a long-ass time.














    Last edited by Timbuk2; 08-30-2017 at 02:15 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  2. #2
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Sounds fascinating.

    How does renting out houses etc work if it is an MMO? Are these simply available or are you competing against other players to get them?

    If it is PvE then that sounds fun but if it's PvP there's always the risk of rampant inflation meaning only the richest can afford to buy the houses etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  3. #3
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Do you need to pay a monthly subscription to play this properly?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  4. #4
    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    Things like houses etc ... no competion. Many can buy the same property, there is no limitation. It is one of the few (if not the only) instanced areas of the game. There is even a rating system, so those who decorate their property better than others in the same place gain points, which add to your overall family fame, which in turn may yield tangible rewards.

    Buying properties is an essential element of the game. You need them to lodge workers that you hire. Your workers then use other properties that you buy to use as workshops to make things, or as storage for stuff you make or just accumulate. In a middling-sized town where ive concentrated my little empire, I now own around 40% of the properties in the town. It's a system which works really well. The system of 'purchasing' things like property is limited to accumulation of contribution points, which you can only acquire through spending time playing the game, like completing quests.

    Cost-wise, no monthly subscription, a one off cost to buy the game of around a tenner IIRC. Steam now has it available.

    As with most MMOs these days there is a cash shop where you can pay real money for enhancements, but these are generally limited to aesthetics like outfits and adornments and the like, nothing much of real impact to the gameplay.

    A great game. Incredible variety and nicely balanced interplay of the elements which make up the variety.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  5. #5
    Unencrypted Wraith's Avatar
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    What's their monetization strategy look like?

  6. #6
    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    Value of real dollars in-game?
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  7. #7
    Unencrypted Wraith's Avatar
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    If they don't have subscriptions, how do they plan on making money to support the game, pay it's infrastructure costs, and fund future development? I'm assuming microtransactions of some sort, but what do those look like? Cosmetic only, XP bonuses for sale, otherwise unachievable superweapons for sale, or what?

  8. #8
    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    Ah yep. As I mentioned in my response to Rand, there is a cash shop.

    Primarily non-game-enhancing purchases, cosmetic stuff, so outfits, skins for mounts and other peripheries. Mounts are puchasable. Pets are a popular purchase, whose main function is to run around picking up mob-drops so you don't have to, and otherwise give minor buffs. It is possible to breed pets apparently, to try to get higher-level or rarer ones, but I've not tried it.

    Inventory expansions and weight-carrying capability increases are also puchasable.

    There are no uber-weapons or similar available, so you can't pay to win. Though I believe in the latest update they did make puchasable some level of weapon/armour enhancement abilities, so you can to some extent pay to help enhance your weapons and armour.

    The only things I've paid for so far are pets, and spent €20 doing so.

    I'm currently on holiday on a Spanish island for a week so i can't jump into the game and see what else is available, but think I covered the main bits.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  9. #9
    Unencrypted Wraith's Avatar
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    I can't convince any of my friends to try it with me, so one last dumb question: how well does it play for an anti-social loner?

  10. #10
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    LOL good question that's how I play all my games.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  11. #11
    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    Very well I would say.

    The life-skills aspect of the game, one of the main aspects, is a solitary undertaking. You don't need others for fishing or crafting or trading or cooking etc.

    Quest-wise, there are bosses in the later stages from level 50+ where a party of 3 or 5 is needed, but these are entirely voluntary and aren't needed to be completed to progress. Bosses do drop the top-end gear, but you could just as easily make lots of money from your solitary life-skills or other undertakings and buy boss gear that others put on the market.

    There are other mass events, there is blue-whale hunting which requires many people in boats/ships to succeed. Other similar large creatures each day that appear which need a lot of people to bring down. I've not experienced these aspects yet.

    Like I said though, in this game there are no instances or dungeons in the usual MMORPG sense where grouping with the right people is a must.

    I've joined a friendly casual guild. There is quite a lot of guild activity. Events your guild can do each day. Very clear benefits from being in a guild too, the bigger the guild the better the buffs you can get. Plus most pay you a salary.

    Then there is the node-wars aspect, which is I believe inter-guild PvP. Some guilds advertise themselves as being hard-core node-wars only, so this would seem to be a major element of the game.

    Nodes by the way are points on the map ... farms or encampments or hamlets or caves or similar points of interest, and are central to the function of the game. They serve not only as hubs for questing areas, but as points of connectivity for trading, or where your workers go to mine or farm or log timber or carry out other location-specific duties for you. Nodes require you to invest vital contribution points you earn before you can use them. It's a very well thought out and balanced aspect.

    But I digress. In summary, my preference, my playstyle, is to enjoy doing my own thing in my own time, but with others around me carrying on doing their thing. Also being in a friendly, casual guild with helpful members who will belp you out if you need it but dont otherwise commit you suits me well. Black Desert suits this playstyle, and it seems you can completely succeed throughout the game playing in this kind of mostly solitary vein.
    Last edited by Timbuk2; 09-04-2017 at 10:22 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  12. #12
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    And there's no fast travel between nodes? Does travelling become a pain/trivial or is it well balanced?

    What's a "contribution point"?

    Are there different "worlds"? Would it be possible to join your casual guild if I get the game do you reckon?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  13. #13
    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    No fast travel.

    You want to travel faster, you either buy better wheels for your wagon and/or enhance them, or train your mount to run faster. Or buy a better one from the horse market.

    There is auto-travel, so set your destination for where you wanna go and you run or trot or get carted to that destination automatically. A useful function certainly, as it's an opportunity to check on other background tasks while you travel. Or go afk.

    Travelling youself without auto-travel allows for slightly faster modes; you can sprint instead of jog, or your horse can gallop instead of canter. Quicker, but you have to control it, so you can't tend to other tasks or go afk. Plus, you use up stamina by sprinting, or your mount uses up stamina too, which needs carrots and the like to recover.

    I've not found it at all a pain or inconvenient. It makes the game realistic, gives the world a sense of size. Also gives a pace to the game.

    ~

    Contribution points are earned purely through questing, either following the main quest-line stories and/or doing the hundreds of quests available in towns or at other nodes.

    Contribution Points are spent on connecting nodes together. Once you've connected a node you can then invest further points on opening up the opportunities available at that node, like mining iron ore or zinc or coal and similar, or logging maple or ash or pine and other timber, or farming wheat or corn or grapes or pumpkins etc, or rearing chickens for eggs and meat, and dozens of other possibilities.

    Contribution Points are also used in villages, towns and cities to buy property, as I mentioned earlier. Property opens up residences, storage space, additional stables for mounts, lodging for workers, dozens of types of crafting workshops etc etc etc.

    The more you play the game the more you value these contribution points, as you need more nodes to mine/log/farm/whatever types of stuff, and you need more property to be able to have more workshops to make more stuff from the stuff you've brought in from nodes or from gathering/buying it yourself.

    Like I say, empire-building.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  14. #14
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Looking on Steam at the different options to buy it and it seems like quite a few of the payable extras (including 30 day ones) is to boost your inventory slots.

    Given the importance you've explained of trade, crafting, gathering etc are slots a big limiter if not paying extra? Do your houses/mounts improve your slots or can you get bags etc to do so without paying cash to do so?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  15. #15
    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    Inventory slots and weight limit are certainly limiting factors, particularly in the earlier stages.

    Both slots and weight-carrying abilities increase as you level up. You can train to carry more weight by building up your strength, which you do by loading up a backpack and lugging it about slowly. But you can only increase slots through the cash shop.

    Once you have a residence you can get a maid through the cash shop too, who can transport items to storage or to sell for you, but only one item or stack of items at a time so she's not that useful.

    Your mount has two or three inventory slots too. Not many.

    After a while you get used to which items you sell or keep, and keeping control of stuff in your inventory becomes easier. I've not felt the need to pay for extra slots.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  16. #16
    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    Stopped to take in the setting evening sun on one of my trade runs on the cliffs near Olvia. Sometimes you just need to pause in your day's work, lookup and see the sky, smell the air, take in the surroundings ...







    But all too soon night will fall. I can see the spires of the city of Calpheon, my destination, in the distance. The moon rises and darkness sets in before I make it. I try to shut out thoughts of bandits, wolves, and other dangers of the twilight, as I huddle in my trade wagon and press onwards.

    Last edited by Timbuk2; 09-08-2017 at 03:59 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  17. #17
    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    So after more than 2 months in this world, I'm now off to discover a new land, in the desert.




    Stopped by a bazaar to pick up a camel, which I duly named Castro.




    I'm told that the desert is large, and that dehydration is likely. My camel seems capable though, and should be able to carry me to my destination.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  18. #18
    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    After what seemed like an eternity in the endless desert, battling dehydration, sunstroke and sandstorms, my destination finally appeared on the horizon, a magnificent city, domed towers shimmering in the heat.






    ~

    The game continues to surprise and delight. There is still so much to discover and learn.

    I've discovered that there isn't an endgame. So this really is not like any other MMORPG. There is no real top-level; the highest people get to is 59 or 60. Infrequently you may come across a 61 or a 62. The point isn't really about levelling up, at least not beyond a certain point, and there becomes less and less reason to do so. Plus, it takes an absolute age.

    At level 56 your character undergoes a transformation called Awakening, where you are granted an entirely new suite of skills and access to different weaponry. The game changes at that point, combat is transformed, and takes on new levels of fun and thrill. Past 56 the game is also much more challenging. Death brings a slight percentage reduction in experience, and you do all you can to avoid it, adding to the challenge. Making money becomes more and more important to get better gear to overcome the challenges.

    I still haven't discovered the whole map, after 700+ hours of play. My little empire has expanded to a second city. My life-skills have reached slightly higher levels, but are still not quite middling compared to others. Everything takes time and is steady. There is so much to do, such myriad ways to make money and progress. Yesterday I discovered boats and shipping, starting out on a wee raft. New ways to make money then, better fishing grounds than those found by the shore, and the opportunity to hunt whales.

    I've also joined a much larger guild. The perks of doing so are worth it. There are constant guild challenges in which you can join. Completion of such challenges expands the guild's perks, and your greater contribution to the challenges is rewarded with greater salary.

    I've also encountered a little more PvP, though not intentionally - through PK. It's as intense as I'd expect.


    No one here tempted to try this? I really couldn't recommend it enough.
    Last edited by Timbuk2; 09-25-2017 at 04:13 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  19. #19
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    It's on a Steam weekend sale at the moment 40% off (so £4.19 here).

    I don't have time to play any games at the moment or I'd be mighty tempted.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  20. #20
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    50% Steam sale (£3.49 here).
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  21. #21
    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    Well at over 1,700 hours in so far, it's fair to say this game has consumed my spare time utterly. I don't play anything else.

    And I'm still nowhere near accomplished in the game yet. There's just so damn much to do. The game is ... huge.

    ~

    Recent expansions added a new area too, Kamasylvia:















    Last edited by Timbuk2; 11-23-2017 at 04:38 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  22. #22
    Let sleeping tigers lie Khendraja'aro's Avatar
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    They have to be careful that the designers from LOTR don't come calling...
    When the stars threw down their spears
    And watered heaven with their tears:
    Did he smile his work to see?
    Did he who made the lamb make thee?

  23. #23
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Why? There's common elements among all MMORPG, what makes you say that especially?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  24. #24
    Let sleeping tigers lie Khendraja'aro's Avatar
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    Because I'm currently playing Shadow of Mordor and those buildings would fit perfectly in there. It's particularly obvious with the styles of the towers and windows.
    When the stars threw down their spears
    And watered heaven with their tears:
    Did he smile his work to see?
    Did he who made the lamb make thee?

  25. #25
    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    LotR is the fantasy benchmark. Thousands of books, films, series and games are inspired by it.

    BDO has dozens of styles, many instantly recognizable, many unique.

    There's the Arabian-themed desert area I pictured above.

    Recently I discovered a new land across the sea, which was Oriental in theme ...








    There's clearly fantasy areas, such as Kamasylvia.

    Much of the mainland is Medieval European in style.
    Last edited by Timbuk2; 11-25-2017 at 09:52 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

  26. #26
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Seems like a classic fantasy game in that respect then.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  27. #27
    Let sleeping tigers lie Khendraja'aro's Avatar
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    Just saying that the style is very similar. Down to the waterfall.

    When the stars threw down their spears
    And watered heaven with their tears:
    Did he smile his work to see?
    Did he who made the lamb make thee?

  28. #28
    Local talking head LittleFuzzy's Avatar
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    Bah, that's derivative from one of Alan Lee's drawings from well before the movies anyway.
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

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