About eclecticgardengnome

Scadian, Browncoat, technical writer, hiker, reader, beer drinker, and an independent thinker.

Shom svi’ sochya Leonard Nimoy.

“Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most… human.”



It is you who decides where you go. You make your own fate.



Luck favor those who are prepared.

What is fate other than luck?

If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think that you dare not, you don’t.
If you’d like to win, but think you can’t,
Its almost certain that you won’t.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But sooner or later, the man who wins,
Is the one who thinks he can.
-Walter D. Wintle

I attribute the learning about the earlier saying from Gunnvor.  I stumbled upon her blog a couple months ago before she made most of her past posts private for her own reasons.   So you can not see the past posts that often quoted the above saying.

Much of any martial art is about the mental game.  Yes, I know that sounds cliche but it is true.  Why do you think that most modern day armed services break down their recruits so that they can mold them into soldiers/warriors?

If you think you are beaten, you are.  When one believes that they will loose they will.  It is a perfect self fulfilling prophecy.  If a person believes that it is preordained that they will not prevail then they will most likely not perform at their top level.  Why?  Because it is preordained.

This saying is all about believing in yourself.  If you do not believe in yourself who will?  If you do not think you will prevail who will?

I am trying to go down that path again in bettering myself. More stuff about music in the future!  Why because music can influence and make you move!

Is it a change in conviction or is it finding it again?

If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think that you dare not, you don’t.
If you’d like to win, but think you can’t,
Its almost certain that you won’t.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But sooner or later, the man who wins,
Is the one who thinks he can.
-Walter D. Wintle

I posted this as a comment in another’s blog today. I haven’t posted here in a while for various reasons. The biggest reason is that as of late most of the games I have been playing were not feeling like games. It didn’t matter if it was a MMO or a single player. I felt my enjoyment was a bit empty. My enjoyment felt materialistic based in a material world. I was inspired to start a blog due to an upcoming game. When that inspiration was no longer there I felt at odds posting here.

In the last two months I have been attending the practices of my local group in the Society for Creative Anachronism. I felt compelled to return after a long hiatus. I stopped for all the wrong reasons. I mentioned about getting active again to my wife. It was at her prodding I started to come back even though I can not fight due to shoulder issues.

I am getting much more back than I would have thought. It has been fun working limitedly with new fighters on basics. I have been diving into projects just because I can. It is amazingly fun. I feel much more enjoyment and fulfillment in what I do now than I ever get with gaming be it raiding or role play in nature. There I may now get a trinket that is a bunch of 0s and 1s. MMORPG have moved away from Koster’s view, reward is getting better at a game, to simple loot based reward. I think that developers think that the only way to retain/increase players (read revenue) is to turn the games into Skinner boxes. It is my thought that is what ails the MMORPG industry in that people are tending to flit from game to game. Each game they think they’ll get enjoyment final. But come to find out it is a Skinner box and move on to the next great thing. Which sadly for them will be another Skinner box. There was an interesting story on technology and Skinner on NPR today [Online Marketers Take Note Of Brains Wired For Rewards

What I get in reward, from my SCA activity as of late, is oddly and amazingly both concrete and ephemeral at the same time. More on the saying at the top will be coming later.

Vanguard Saga of Heroes Character Select Music…

I need to thank Massively for a foray down in music in gaming.  I have to agree that EQII is one of my favorite character creation music..

but I TOTALLY forgot about VSOH character creation music… This clip almost wants me to reinstall the game!  This song is amazing!

But a nod to to the game I am waiting for w/ bated breath.. WildStar.

Jeff Kurtenacker also did the theme for PotBS which holds a special place in my MMO experiences heart.


I Hear the wind rustling the newly formed oak leaves. A neighbor’s child crying in delight as he plays. My wife is humming a tune as she takes pictures of newly sprouting hostas. I am posting this from my phone as I patiently wait for the grill to cook the first corn on the cob for the season. Life is good.

That something something..

Well I had the pleasure of playing in Neverwinter Online and recently on a whim took a gander at Defiance. I have read online many a naysayer about Defiance. But, after last week watching the pilot episode I figure it just may be interesting to look into the game.

Both Neverwinter and Defiance are really missing that something something at times when it comes to gameplay. Neverwinter I just cannot place what bothers me so much about the gameplay. Defiance, it is glaring obvious. I have played FPS games before and since this a 3rd person shooter it feels odd at times. When you think you have a bead on a MOB around a corner you don’t due to the physics of the third person and parallax. Plus, the inventory system is less than desired. This seems to be the common issue w/ console ports on PCs. However, in terms of being fun to play I would say Neverwinter and Defiance are about even.

So the burning questions is which would prefer to play now? Oddly, I would say Defiance. The reason? The story is much better. That is pretty sad when it comes to game that uses the IP of Dungeon and Dragons does not have as strong a story. So my weekend working on the home was broken up w/ some time in Defiance.


Music in Gaming

I am sorry for writing this later than I had promised. First I would like to give a hat tip to Syl due to listening to her on her podcast Battle Bards.

If you have read some of my other posts you will have come to an understanding that I have a love of music. I would argue that it is a love all forms of art be it prose, music, or graphic. I used to be a fairly good at drawing in charcoal and pastels when I was younger. The only reason was due to repetition and practice. It was most definitely not due to talent. However, I have never had a musical bone in my body. I have tried several instruments much to the chagrin to my mother when I was younger. However, I took after my father who was an audiophile of sorts. So I just learned to have a love for music.

Music in gaming in my opinion is very much like music in movies. Music in movies can is either diagetic and non-diagetic. Now I am going to bust out what I learned in my film appreciation class. More often than not it is non-diagetic; it is over the standard dialog and audio. A good example of diegetic would be like Bing Crosby singing White Christmas.

Dorothy Kirsten & Bing Crosby in Mr. Music - t...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Music can add to an audience’s emotions. How many car chases have you seen that did not have some kind of non-diagetic music going? I have yet to see a movie that has. I feel that it even has the ability to not only add to the audience’s emotions it can evoke an emotion as well. Billy Boyd singing The Edge of Night in Return of the King is a perfect example for me. It is tempered by the diagetic sound of Denethor crushing the chicken bones. The diagetic sound of the crushing bones is a nice foreshadow of the outcome. Plus, it is a symbol of Denethor’s action which will cause needless deaths. You can just feel the futility of the charge almost an modern day homage to the Charge of the Light Brigade.

Music in gaming can have similar impact on players’ experiences. Early gaming music had more difficulty evoking or adding to players emotions. This was due to the nature of the music being limited to midi style music. But I bet that many people my age would immediately recognize the following themes:

That may not have evoked a response back when it came out. But I bet many my age would immediately recognize it if they hear it today and thus evoking an emotional response. Mine would be of gamer rage. I sucked terribly at Super Mario Brothers.

The first MMO that I absolutely loved for the music in was Everquest II. Nektropos Castle’s music added so much to the experience of the dungeon crawl. I always called it the Scooby Doo castle. That and Stormhold my Scooby Doo dungeon. I loved and hated Nektropos; loved the ambiance, hated the bugs.

The embedded preview for Stormhold seems busted so here is a link.

Most notably the the Echoes of Faydwer expansion. That expansion’s music was epic in terms of getting the player in the mindset of the continent of Faydwer. I loved the Kelethin/Greater Faydark music.

To me a music for a MMO should give the underlying tone of the zone that the player is in. It can evoke a Sense of Wonderment, Sense of Exploration, and a Sense of Urgency. (Sorry had to use link outs instead of embedding. The embedding in Youtube for most of those was not working).