Commemorating the seventh anniversary of Tales of the Aggronaut I had my good friend and artist I keep commissioning to draw stuff for me… make this collage of “Bel” characters. If you are so inclined you can even get it in T-Shirt form with all proceeds going to the artist and zero to me as intended… I have one hanging in my closet. The characters pictured present my characters scattered through a bunch of games that were important to me… from left to right: My World of Warcraft Human Warrior, My Blades/Shotgun character from The Secret World, Middle top my Exo Titan from Destiny 1, Middle Bottom my Bahmi Warrior from Rift, my Imperial Dragon Knight from Elder Scrolls Online and finally my Lalafel Bunny Warrior from Final Fantasy XIV. As much as I love this image… it was sort of awkward to work with over the years and mostly just has to be used as is to adorn my blog’s sidebar. It also made me shift how I actually requested commissions from Ammo, given that each of the individual characters was drawn as you see them and could not be pulled out or separated from the total image.
Instead these days when I put in a commission for her to draw something, I pay for her to do something in a way that allows me to break the pieces apart and use them as I need for various other purposes like adorning the website, as channel art or turning into a social media avatar. The individual comissions are more expensive but I also sorta like to make sure Ammo keeps a steady flow of commission work… as does Tam who has in total commissioned way more than I have. While I did not have time to deal with this prior to the anniversary post because work has been crazy… and I was up until midnight on Tuesday night dealing with an outage… I did finish up the intended collage masthead last night and added it to the site. The logo itself is a little off center so that it is effectively centered over the block of text and then the image extends out over the sidebar as well. What you see before you is a bunch of individual commissions that I have composited together. I am exceedingly happy with how it pulled together even though it greatly increases the vertical space of my masthead.
Once again I will talk a bit about each of them going mostly left to right. First off we have a more updated version of Bunny Samurai Belghast from Final Fantasy XIV wearing the second version of artifact gear and wielding the glowy Palace of the Dead axe. Next up we have my default visage from Monster Hunter world wielding the Nergigante Longsword and with my Real Life and in Game Palico Kenzie decked out in my favorite Baan Astronaut gear. Then in the center-ish we have a commission that Tam actually did, with the goal being drawing how he sees me… the advisement to Ammo was something to the effect of “Warrior Disney Princess and Friend to Woodland Creatures”. So you have me heavily armored… and then lots of buckles to make fun of my love for gear with extraneous straps and buckles… the House Stalwart tabard to represent the guild that I started so many years ago… and finally woodland creatures in the form of a bunch of bluebirds that play dual symbolism of me and my “birb” friends in my backyard and the fact that I am always on twitter. Next up you have my Elder Scrolls Online updated Dragon Knight wearing the cosmetic gear that I generally wear in that game. Lastly you have a Destiny 2 Sentinel Titan shield charging like a badass… but with a head that is based on a comic book version of my actual appearance. Last but not least you have a bunch of Moogles that I commissioned to represent the fact that I am part of the Moogle’s Pom Community team even though I have not streamed in eons due to anxiety issues. The extra chubby one with the beard and a hoodie resting on the logo is the one that actually represents me.
There is an awful lot of symbolism packed into a single image… and while it is extremely busy… it also represents this blog. I am constantly swapping between games and also giving a dose of myself with each post. The only regret that I have and this is minor… is that I sort of wish that I would have had Ammo draw Kenzie and Monster Hunter Bel completely rather than as a single composite image. I could have faked it out… but it would have been nice to have Kenzie overlaying the logo a little bit to add more depth… but I am not sure if it would have made visual sense. I kept the placement of Bunny Bel and Titan Bel in largely the same location as the previous logo more or less on purpose because I thought they made good bookends. The only problem is… I already have a bunch more character commissions that I want in my head… so I fully expect this to evolve over time. Before I plug Ammo again… I feel like I have to state once more that when I post links to her stuff it is completely unsolicited and it is just the fact that I am a huge patron of her creations and want to spread the word. Saying that… here comes the link dump of where you can find her (thankfully I already did this in a post and can just copypasta).
- General Tumblr Blog
- Art Only Tumblr Blog
- Society 6
- Red Bubble
- Tee Public – Has the 7th Anniversary Aggronaut Shirt!
Finally for some actual game related stuff… I have been playing some Star Wars the Old Republic of late and I am currently blaming Pete since he was talking about it on twitter. More honestly I think I am being influenced by what I have called the BlizzCon Spirit, but I feel like I need to explain that. Each year around BlizzCon time I find myself getting enthralled by Blizzard products. If I am not currently playing World of Warcraft at the time of the convention… then I find myself playing it shortly after. Similarly we recently had a whole bunch of news come out of Star Wars Celebration in Chicago… featuring a trailer for Star Wars Episode IX, a trailer for the Respawn game Jedi Fallen Order, and some leaked footage from the Disney Plus Mandolorian Television Show. All that goodness in one place has produced a BlizzCon spirit like effect in me… which is not shocking given that I went through a massive renaissance of Star Wars the Old Republic leading up to the release of Force Awakens.
When I last played I managed to push my way through a bunch of the new content and through the entire Fallen Empire campaign. However Eternal Throne was brand new content and I did not hang in long enough to actually start on it. So Tuesday night after getting home from work… I patched up the client and started working my way through the Knights of the Eternal Throne expansion. I am taking it pretty slow, not playing a ton on a given night with me just finishing the first chapter last night and moving into the second. Every time I return I forget just how good the storytelling is in the game, and how much it reminds me of Knights of the Old Republic especially in the more modern single player incarnation. As a cherry on the top it came out yesterday that Kathleen Kennedy confirmed that they are looking at doing a movie set in the Old Republic era… which gives me goosebumps at thinking that maybe just maybe some of my favorite characters from the KOTOR series will officially enter the canon. I still very much love Star Wars and even though Last Jedi mostly landed flat for me… I am looking forward to the end of the Skywalker Saga and seeing what they do from that point onwards. I am hoping that we see a huge cinematic saga centering around the large set pieces of the Old Republic setting. Bioware has created so many great characters that are just waiting to be realized on the big screen.