Valar Guild

May 24, 2015 Sunday Meeting

5pm EDT (UTC/GMT - 5)
AIM: Valar Guild Meetingplace

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Transcript work by
Ar-Pharazon and Varda.

Attending: (4)
    AriehnV, ArPharazonV, Indis-(V)/karakedi25, VardaValar1 (presiding)

Meeting begins
    Fladrif sighting
    Tolkien Site: new art from the Bohemian Weasel-(T)
    Games Site news for games, updates for player tables
    Topic: Authors influenced by Tolkien
    More authors influenced by Tolkien

You have just entered room "valarguildmeetingplace."
VardaValar1 has entered the room.
VardaValar1: Aiya. No worries, twenty minutes until time.
ArPharazonV: Allright.
VardaValar1: It's that time. Any Arien sign?
ArPharazonV: I'll check.
VardaValar1: Thanks. I'll pop into LotRO
ArPharazonV: Poked on her lil' blood elf.
VardaValar1: :-)
AriehnV has entered the room.
ArPharazonV: Aiya Arien!
AriehnV: Aiya :-)
VardaValar1: Aiya Sunshine :-)
ArPharazonV: Let me just say
AriehnV: sorry for this *blush* just forgot the time a bit
ArPharazonV: UK deserved more points than it got yesterday!
VardaValar1: Points on what?
ArPharazonV: We had Eurovision finale yesterday.
ArPharazonV: The big song contest.
VardaValar1: *hands the Golden One a bucketload of points to distribute fairly*
ArPharazonV: hehe

VardaValar1: Elen sila lumenn' omentielvo!
VardaValar1: Membership:
VardaValar1: *reminds self to recruit*
VardaValar1: We've been seeing a little more cross-over between gaming branches, always fun.
VardaValar1: Tomorrow is Fangorn's 62nd birthday. German chocolate cake is planned.
VardaValar1: Any other membershp news?
ArPharazonV: Congrats!
AriehnV: my habby birfdays to him :-D
VardaValar1: Thank you. :-)
VardaValar1: Hello from Bilbo and Sauron

VardaValar1: Web:
VardaValar1: Tolkien Site:
VardaValar1: New art from the Bohemian Weasel-(T):
VardaValar1: "The Ring will be safe in Rivendell." Frodo and Sam in Rivendell.
VardaValar1: opps-lotrm2-112_Ring_safe_in_Rivendell.jpg

VardaValar1: I've also had a comment from a member that the vertical lists in the Tolkien and Community sections should be horizontal. So I've been tinkering with that a bit.
AriehnV: looks good
AriehnV: both the frames and the pics
VardaValar1: But this section throws me on making the horizontal. I'll mull it over:
VardaValar1: Ahh good. So the horizontal is a good way to go.
AriehnV: yes .. itr looks a bit tidier
ArPharazonV: Horizontal is allright. I guess you can fit in more, and it looks a bit more organized.
ArPharazonV: Just gotta watch out that the larger categories don't stretch the screen too much. I don't like having to scroll horizontally, and on my monitor it'd happen sooner than on most others :-)
VardaValar1: The one above with the long list vertically might be tricksy. But I'll try to figure out a horizontal system.
VardaValar1: And on phones, aye.
ArPharazonV: A multi-line horizontal system might be nice. Yes, and for phones too.
VardaValar1: That first one has multi-horizontal lines, so that worked.
VardaValar1: Another comment was the black block with the Valar Guild name against the green bar. I'm so used to it that I hardly notice. Maybe an all black bar there?
VardaValar1: I'll play around with it. If the name was on a transparent background, changing would be easier. Can't even find that exact font now.

VardaValar1: Games Site:
VardaValar1: Eonwe has been updating. Here's what he emailed:
VardaValar1: Gaming News up. Also updated are the player tables for LotRO, WoW Lothar, and WoW Uldaman.
VardaValar1: Might check those to see if your info is right and email him so he can work on it during his odd hours.
ArPharazonV: Guess he'll be adding HStorm next time!
ArPharazonV: Yes, HStorm works...
VardaValar1: Heroes of the Storm?
ArPharazonV: Yes.
VardaValar1: As long as someone emails him to let him know. Not sure if he puts it up if only one person is in it, but maybe.

VardaValar1: World of WarCraft:
VardaValar1: from the Games Site:
VardaValar1: Check out the new Dev Watercooler on Itemization in 6.2.
VardaValar1: If you're a pet collector, see the blog Preview 6.2 - Pets Galore.
VardaValar1: Recent hotfixes.

VardaValar1: StarCraft 2:
VardaValar1: Check out the Legacy of the Void Beta: Balance Update Preview.
VardaValar1: We got a Legacy of the Void Balance Update preview and then the Balance Update itself.

VardaValar1: Diablo 3:
VardaValar1: Patch 2.2.1 is live.

VardaValar1: Heroes of the Storm:
VardaValar1: It has begun! The Open Beta, that is. There's also global play.
VardaValar1: Check out the blog World's First Butterfly Cosplay - Part 3: Bringing Monarch Brightwing to Life.

VardaValar1: Lord of the Rings Online:
VardaValar1: Check out the Summer Executive Producer's Letter.
VardaValar1: Quite a bit of news in that letter. Lot of server moving, the European servers are moving back out of the US to Amsterdam.
VardaValar1: New servers updated, new datacenters.
VardaValar1: The planned upgrades have been delayed partly by weather, but are still moving along.
VardaValar1: The Devs are working on Minas Tirith. :-)
ArPharazonV: Yay Netherlands.
VardaValar1: Heading your way. Maybe bringing jobs with it. Enjoy.
VardaValar1: New PvMP map, should cause people to faint. Long time coming.
ArPharazonV: Starting to think that if you wanted to deregulate the internet and online gaming worldwide, the first thing to do is throw an EMP on Amsterdam.
ArPharazonV: Everything seems to be moving here.
VardaValar1: I think you mean derail or destroy.
VardaValar1: Amsterdam must be doing something right to be so attractive.
ArPharazonV: Ehr, derail works.
VardaValar1: We can only hope mirror servers for all the games are available in various places, but probably too expensive.
VardaValar1: Any other general gaming news?
VardaValar1: There's Indis coming online.
karakedi25 has entered the room.
VardaValar1: Aiya Indis :-)
karakedi25: aiya
VardaValar1: We were just finishing up gaming news. Did you see the Summer Executive Producer's Letter for LotRO yet?
karakedi25: questing ....
VardaValar1: r%E2%80%99s-Letter
VardaValar1: ok.
karakedi25: yes. Generally good news. What did you think of it?
VardaValar1: Trying to decide how I feel about moving the servers to Amsterdam for Europe. Rest looks pretty good.
VardaValar1: Hoping the upgrades proceed as planned without any more bad weather and various obstacles. It's a hair-pulling process.
VardaValar1: Any other comments, news, suggestions, gripes, kudos?
VardaValar1: Since our LotRO players are mostly busy in-game, we can move on.

VardaValar1: Tolkien:
VardaValar1: Modern fantasy authors in the main publishing world have mostly all read Tolkien, and would find it difficult not to be influenced by him in some manner.
VardaValar1: Does this group have any favored fantasy authors, and do they seem to show any flavoring that may have been derived from Tolkien?
ArPharazonV: Terry Pratchett is an obvious answer for me.
VardaValar1: I guess favored authors would be ones we read more than one book of.
VardaValar1: Good one.
VardaValar1: Anything Tolkienesque in his work?
ArPharazonV: Many of his fantasy races are based on Tolkien's interpretation, including dwarves and, in the more recent books, Orcs.
VardaValar1: Orcs and hobbits are pure Tolkien.
ArPharazonV: Elves... interesting inversion, though you could say their character is also based on the old Norse myths.
ArPharazonV: There are no hobbits.
VardaValar1: When found in books in general, pardon.
VardaValar1: How do you see Terry Pratchett's elves as an inversion but also based on old Norse myths?
VardaValar1: (Not everyone has read the books or the same books.)
ArPharazonV: Well, in the Norse myths they were rather more tricksters than the good people of Tolkien's works. Had something evil and arrogant about them.
AriehnV: in Irish legend they seem like that as well
VardaValar1: In Celtic stories, they may be without souls entirely.
ArPharazonV: In Discworld, people *remember* the Elves as this good, lovable, beautiful race, but it's all a sort of enchantment, a glamour, while in personality they are arrogant, soulless and possessive. It's a rather fascinating portrayal.
ArPharazonV: Metaphorically compared to the common housecat sometimes; cuddly and cute, but selfish, cruel bastards when you really look at them ;-)
ArPharazonV: Excuse the language.
VardaValar1: Our resident cat-lover may take exception with the thought. ;-)
ArPharazonV: So you could see it as a sort of mix from both portrayals; evil tricksters of myth, but seen as the beautiful race of Tolkien if they want to.
VardaValar1: Hunters, nearly wild animals that live with humans.
ArPharazonV: And I've got a cat too, and love him a lot, but it's tough to deny sometimes :-)
VardaValar1: Even in Tolkien, we see a touch of that. The merry elves that make fun of the dwarves entering Rivendell. The Feanorians.
karakedi25: If you mean me as 'resident cat lover,' I often refer to cats as furry psychopaths. I still like them.
ArPharazonV: There you go!
VardaValar1: There you go! We heard it from the expert.
ArPharazonV: And yes, there's something in it of the Feanorians.
ArPharazonV: And yet there's something fairy about them as well, especially in the first Tiffany Aching book (a subseries of Discworld).
VardaValar1: Not a whole lot about elves or even Alfheim in the old Nordic stories that I've found. May need to do a lot more research. :-)
ArPharazonV: Well I"m only going by what I can still remember.
VardaValar1: Aye, this subject was sprung on everyone.
ArPharazonV: Haven't made it to Midsummer Night's Dream in my Shakespeare book yet :-)
VardaValar1: Mischievous fairies there, for sure. Enjoy!
ArPharazonV: Though there are supposed to be elements of *that* in the Discworld book too.
ArPharazonV: Let'ssee.. that's dwarves, orcs and elves. Goblins are present, but not really related to their Orc-image, with the exception of one Orc going under the cover of being a goblin, in the big city.
ArPharazonV: Not all that much directly Tolkien, otherwise. Of course there's a lot of ambient influence, I could say, but that goes for a lot of sources. And Tolkien is supposed to be the father of modern fantasy after all.
VardaValar1: Dwarves seem pretty well stereo-typed. Tolkien's sound more educated and not at all Scottish, maybe less drunken.
VardaValar1: Aye
ArPharazonV: That shines through in the Discworld version too, yes. And they love their ale ;-)
ArPharazonV: And the basic dwarf stereotype is still based on Tolkien's, I believe.
ArPharazonV: Probably closer to gnomes, before that.
VardaValar1: Before Tolkien and even in his earliest work, dwarves were often used as villains.
ArPharazonV: Oh yes. Look at the petty dwarves for a good example, who were probably closest to the previous versions.
VardaValar1: He started out writing them as villains, then changed it, improving tons of fantasy stories. since.
ArPharazonV: Mim.
VardaValar1: Right. Mim and sons.
VardaValar1: Even Mim had some reason for his behavior.
VardaValar1: But mostly the petty dwarves were disliked by the regular dwarves. We don't hear of any surviving later on.
ArPharazonV: Pretty certain that every fantasy dwarf who is less like an evil scheming goblin and more like a scottish braid-bearded ale-drinker has Tolkien to thank for it.
VardaValar1: Weren't Mim and his sons the last, or thought they were?
ArPharazonV: I think so, yes.
VardaValar1: The idea of the mining is ancient, carried on by JRRT. It came from stories of a number of beings besides dwarves and joined up in them.
ArPharazonV: And I'm sure that the Discworld tradition of male and female dwarves being completely identical on the outside comes from Tolkien as well.
VardaValar1: Aye :-)
ArPharazonV: Though maybe a bit more taken to humorous extremes; apparently the biggest challenge of courtship is finding out the sex of your partner :-)
VardaValar1: :-)
VardaValar1: They could try jewelry or braiding signals, maybe. :-)
VardaValar1: Just use them when looking for a partner.
ArPharazonV: Well, if we're looking for other authors, I'd like to mention at least one more.
ArPharazonV: Whose work I actually mentioned last week :-)
VardaValar1: Fire away.
ArPharazonV: Not sure if webcomics are what you had in mind, but I gotta mention Rich Burlew's "Order of the Stick". Again a lot of the classic fantasy races.
ArPharazonV: In this case based on the D&D fantasy, which of course is based on Tolkien's work in a way.
ArPharazonV: This one does have halflings!
VardaValar1: Not what I was thinking of, but aye, webcomics are legitimate, hard-working writers.
VardaValar1: *made by
karakedi25: Didn't Tolkien say that female dwarves were indistinguishable from males *by outsiders*?
ArPharazonV: I did say it was taken more to extremes.
ArPharazonV: for a link, this particular one is to the archive, difficult to find a more direct but page-neutral link.
ArPharazonV: The first page works too :-)
VardaValar1: Aye Indis. The joke in the Terry Pratchett books was taking that to the extreme where it was also difficult for the dwarves to tell.
ArPharazonV: Starts off as a gag-comic (and still is in a way) but it's at nearly 1000 pages now with a rather expansive world built around it, with a lot of references, Tolkien and othewise.
ArPharazonV: *otherwise
ArPharazonV: Other authors... don't really read em. I watch Game of Thrones, which is a bit like medieval fantasy, though without all the fantasy races Tolkien made famous.
ArPharazonV: But I haven't read the books.
VardaValar1: Anyone else with a fantasy author they read that was influenced by Tolkien?
VardaValar1: I'll take that as everyone's busy gaming and move on. :-)
VardaValar1: *picks up a small hammer*
VardaValar1: *tink*

VardaValar1: After-meeting!
VardaValar1: *eyes small hammer as it flies back to the shelf*
AriehnV: only in the way of creating universes with their own timelines
ArPharazonV: I'll launch into personal gaming as soon as I find a flashgame I wanna link ;-)
AriehnV: Marion Zimmer Bradley did it with Darkover .. apart from that is nothing Tolkienesque there reaclly #
AriehnV: she created a whole chronicle like book series there
AriehnV: Mercedes Lackey .. Not really i fear apart again from creating a whole universe with heoroes and heroines
AriehnV: heroes ..
VardaValar1: Mercedes Lackey and the series with the Chrome Circle.
VardaValar1: A lot of that was Celtic influence, but it seemed to have some Tolkienesque touch too.
VardaValar1: Then it wandered away from it mostly.
AriehnV: I dont know that one?
AriehnV: which books are these?
VardaValar1: Still, tall, beautiful elves.
VardaValar1: Magic.
VardaValar1: Chrome Circle was the first one in the series.
VardaValar1: A human magus named Tanis is the main character, gets involved with elves among others.
VardaValar1: Modern times.
VardaValar1: Sorry, bad memory
VardaValar1: Tannim
VardaValar1: Born to Run
VardaValar1: A novel of the Serrated Edge
VardaValar1: Wrote it with Larry Dixon.
VardaValar1: I didn't enjoy the ones with Holly Lisle as much. Seemed as if the points they made were being hammered too obviously.
VardaValar1: I'm done. :-)
AriehnV: Lal sounds fun just looked at it at her website
AriehnV: okay Phari go on :-)
ArPharazonV: Allright then, personal gaming! And I did find a fun game to link you for flashgaming.
ArPharazonV: Not played too much of it (yet) but fun enough so far. Appeared on another website this week which is how I found it, but if I can find it on Kongregrate too, I'll link it there :-)
ArPharazonV: Wherein you are a weaponized bee and you have to fly and shoot your way through levels.
ArPharazonV: Hearthstone: Not much news. Got a few too many all duplicate-packs from the classic set, so went back to GvG packs from the expansion; and finally got my first mechwarper which is key to a bunch of mech-heavy decks. Will be fun to try out.
VardaValar1: Duplicates, always a problem in card games, like Magic.
ArPharazonV: Yep. At least in Hearthstone you can turn them to dust and then use those to craft specific others. But the ratio is really low, you need to dust a lot of cards to make anything good.
ArPharazonV: And I'm getting to the point where all-duplicate packs are becoming a bit of a nuisance, if not yet the most common.
ArPharazonV: Heroes of the Storm: finished the training, got the first free hero unlocked (Valla the Demon Hunter) and have been using her to try out some team-games against AI opponents, and finally a few actual player vs player team-games.
ArPharazonV: I'm not doing too well so far, but also not too badly; so it's promising. Just need to get some more practice in. Got Valla to level 4 or 5 or so, I think; enough to unlock all the talents, and have been trying out a bit of an assassin build with high attack speed, extra damage to enemy players, etc.
ArPharazonV: My overall player-level is 5 now, so only one to go until I unlock daily quests, and hopefully boost my gold-income a bit.
ArPharazonV: Game is enjoyable so far, but I'm not sure I want to really spend enough time in it to get all the daily quests as they come up :-)
ArPharazonV: But collecting and levelling all the heroes is so tempting!
VardaValar1: :-)
ArPharazonV: Diablo 3: Bit more of the season 3 monk. Gone from level 23 to 31, and still feeling rather overkill. I'll up the difficulty again when I hit 40.
VardaValar1: Altitis is Us.
ArPharazonV: Yes, indeed :-)
ArPharazonV: And finally! WoW!
ArPharazonV: Heroic Blackhand defeated last thursday. Thereby clearing the entire Blackrock Foundry instance on heroic mode.
ArPharazonV: New "ahead of the curve" feat of strength, as well as a title for killing all the bosses in both raids on heroic or higher.
ArPharazonV: No new pets this week; monday's search gave us 2 pets I already had, but some of the others in our small party were happy with them :-) Better luck tomorrow!
ArPharazonV: We worked on some BRF raid achievements today, and I assume we'll be going through the heroic modes on farm a few times, getting all the players who were absent last thursday their Blackhand-kills, and maybe dip our toes into mythic mode a few weeks from now.
ArPharazonV: And I think that's it, pretty much. Our raid achievements got us a new garrison follower, Aknor Steelbringer, who is probably one of the hardest followers to get right now. So that's nice.
ArPharazonV: I'm about one week away of finishing this chapter of the legendary questline, too, so that'll give another :-)
ArPharazonV: And I think that's it for me!
VardaValar1: Thanks, Phar. :-)
AriehnV: grats for the new achievements and titles :-)

ArPharazonV: Oh! One more thing.
ArPharazonV: I saw Fladrif in Hearthstone this week. He's allright, plans on visiting the Netherlands again soon (so maybe I'll convince him to show up to a meeting when he's here in the right timezone).
ArPharazonV: Saw him at rank 14 with a bunch of golden cards, so he seems to be doing well in Hearthstone too.
AriehnV: oh great news :-D
ArPharazonV: And apparently he's been trying Heroes of the Storm too, so that might be fun!
VardaValar1: Fantastic. :-)
karakedi25: Namarie, folks
karakedi25 has left the room.
ArPharazonV: Namarie!
VardaValar1: Namarie Indis
VardaValar1: Fladrif is also welcome in any game, any time, or on the forum if he wants to say hi there. :-)
ArPharazonV: Of course :-)
ArPharazonV: I'll let him know that next time I see him.
AriehnV: I ve seen Sauron on lEve online a couple of times last week :-)
VardaValar1: He's playing quite a bit. He's also been on SWTOR.
AriehnV: mmh i tired looking for him but i always missed him in SWoToR
AriehnV: and then my worktimes were against me :-\
VardaValar1: He was on Saturday too
VardaValar1: Just checked. He's on EVE right now.
VardaValar1: But you need bed, this late, I'm sure. :-)
AriehnV: ill throw him a hi then i go to bed :-)
VardaValar1: Cool. :-)
AriehnV: On which character? he doesnt seem to be on his main
VardaValar1: I'll look
VardaValar1: In EVE on Annatar
AriehnV: nope i dont see him online
VardaValar1: Odd. I'll go tell him. Which character are you on?
AriehnV: Suntarien Kaavees
VardaValar1: He says Suntarien doesn't seem to be online.
VardaValar1: Does a message work?
AriehnV: ah didnt have me on the watchlist as i didnt have him :-)
AriehnV: needs to add me to watch list
VardaValar1: He says you're on his watchlist
AriehnV: found him ^^
AriehnV: okay Namairie all :-)
ArPharazonV: Namarie!
VardaValar1: Namarie!
AriehnV has left the room.
VardaValar1: I'm off too. Namarie for now!
ArPharazonV: Namarie!
VardaValar1 has left the room.
ArPharazonV: Saving and sending transcript!