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I'd like to take this opportunity to direct your attention to an excellent fic in progress, that I happen to be beta'ing.

Title: The Half Life of Element Zero
Fandom: Dragon Age and Mass Effect crossover
Pairing: Lady Inquisitor/Solas, Lady Inquisitor/Cullen
Categories: ADVENTURE
Length: 10k and counting
Warnings: Violence, swearing - nothing that would be out of place in canon.
Summary: After being discharged from the Alliance, Commander Helen Trevelyan joined the Andromeda Initiative, thinking to leave her personal tragedies and a psycho ex-boyfriend behind her. She expected to sleep for 600 years, and wake up in a med bay. Instead, she crash-landed on the side of a snow-covered mountain, ten-thousand years later. She is alone, confused, and dying from eezo radiation. And the only sign of civilization is an old church in the distance. A Post-Modern Girl on Thedas fic.

What I thought: God damn, fish-out-of-the-water crossover fics aren't usually my thing but this one is really good. The author does a good job of exploring the consequences of Helen's crash landing in Thedas. Balding, medieval-quality hygiene, translator problems, and culture shock abound. And there's a reason why an Andromeda Initiative biotic landed in Thedas, of all places. Problems are fully explored and not handwaved away with space magic. I particularly appreciate the author's Solas POVs.

[x] linguistic stick up the ass
[x] kinda racist
[x] obviously up to things
[x] not the only one whose friends are all dead

I'm a beta for this fic and I can't spoil anything but this fic is going places.

duinemerwen: (garrus)
... and the ending made me very happy! 

Unfortunately there was still far too much filler in the game and though I may try it again later, skipping all the side quests and exploration, but only when Bioware patches the bugs.
duinemerwen: (Default)
2017.04.03 01:33 - More reasons to be sad
 - The neighbour cut down their tree in the front yard. There was nothing wrong with it. They just didn't want the roots creating lumps in the driveway.
- Gotta socialize at an industry mixer today. I don't really want to...
- Need to write several pages about machine learning techniques. I'm not qualified to do that. Profs should have hired a fourth-rate CS grad student instead. 
- Reyes Vidal. 
duinemerwen: (Default)
Title: Variations on a Theme, with Tank and Gunfire
Fandom: Mass Effect
Categories: AU
Length: ~38 000 words
Warnings: M for language, occasional sexual situations.
Author: servantofclio
Author's Summary: Shepard finds herself reliving the last few years, from the beacon on Eden Prime to the battle on Earth. Again, and again, and again. How much can she change? How much should she change?

My thoughts: I think I figured out why I find the Witcher series less compelling than other series. It doesn't inspire me to read fanfiction or ask "what if?" as much as other franchises because:
a) The Witcher 3 is already very fleshed out, as a world. You could add more to it but it feels like there's less room.
b) Geralt is relatable but based on the games he's not the sort of personality I really want to read novels and novels about. I'm aware the game is based on the books. But Geralt clearly doesn't really want to be IN the world he's in. Same with the supporting cast.
c) The ending is very, very final.
d) Wandering around is kind of a lonely experience and somehow it feels there iisn't THAT much interaction with allies or finding out where they're coming from.
e) The game's given me more than I can handle already. Too much!

Whereas. Well. Looking at the fanfic bookmarks I can see the following characteristics that make a fandom good for writing:
a) Loads and loads of characters of protagonist-of-another-story caliber. Many of whom we actually like. And interactions with them.
b) Juicy what-if implications
c) I like space and sci fi and stuff. And magic. And space magic. All over the place. Yep.

d) Leaves fans craving more: Big dangling unresolved plot point / vague and unsatisfying ending / etc

And if any game ending left me unsatisfied, it was Mass Effect 3.

Anyways the first two chapters of Variations on a Theme with Tank and Gunfire touch brilliantly on the fourth wall and the video game experience because of the time-travel component.
Her memories from the first time are still the sharpest. She knows there are some little things that are different every time: casual conversations, inconsequential interactions.
And the other 21 chapters? They're pretty excellent too and address things like
- Why is there only ever one squad on the ground?
- Why is there no Mako in ME3?
- How could characters X and Y both survive?
- Why does everyone and their mother have an excuse for not rejoining the crew, even at the very end?
- What is up with the Starchild?

Admittedly none of it is as good as the first two chapters but, well, that was a really high bar. More importantly, the ending of the fic brings back the team building aspect that was missing from the third game (assembled a team? learned to delegate? nope, you're gonna face the end sequences by yourself!) and if Shepard's plots are execute a bit too smoothly, and the ending is too happy... no. A dozen iterations later, I'm OK with the way the plans were carried out and the fluffiness of the final ending. I always knew that original ending choices were bullshit. This fic fixes everything and makes it all better. It's one of my favourites of all time. On the unwritten Top 5 list, for sure. It just makes me so happy when I read it.

Variations on a Theme, with Tank and Gunfire
duinemerwen: (garrus)
2016.02.11 00:36 - Explaining the joke
Today i had lunch with Ting from high school, resolved a bunch of comments on my paper from the postdoc, and played two games with N6FailedSniper, where he played an N7 fury with strength enhancers and a Graal Spike Thrower.

Context - the N7 Fury is considered a very, very power-heavy character who should be played with a very light loadout to minimize cooldowns. In fact their weapon is usually just a holder for their power amplifier mod. They generally don't use melee attacks either.

The Citadel DLC has the following scene:

where the procurement guy represents the frustrating multiplayer store RNG.

Anyways N6 finished second on the scoreboard both games, behind the guy with the Black Widow and ahead of me, who was ahead of the noob. 
duinemerwen: (garrus)
In case you've never seen it: Transit Toronto History

The 501 QUEEN streetcar has long had problems maintaining reliable service. As early as the late 1970s, residents of the Beaches complained that the QUEEN car was being short turned excessively. Quoted one resident in an article for the Toronto Star, “they can get a man to the moon, so why can’t they get a streetcar to Lee Avenue?”

I made a spreadsheet to randomize and add variety to your ME3 coop kit and loadout: google drive

The boric acid is working very well, just a little bit suspicious.

+10 armor +20 frost resistance -10 speed
duinemerwen: (Ampersand)
2015.12.09 00:25 - One

University College

Mordin Solus


Fuuuuuck I need the CSV file to input the quiz grades and it's being shared around by four other TAs and none of them will tell me who has it and the professor is not helping.

duinemerwen: (Ampersand)
2015.09.26 21:36 - You humans are all racist
A quarian, a vorcha, and a krogan are in a skycar. Who's driving?

beat )

Jokes aside, I acquired the L'Artisan Perfume Box from Liz at Beauty Reductionista. I've already learned that I can't stand Ambre Extreme. So that's going really well.
duinemerwen: (garrus)
2015.09.09 02:19 - Novaguard
Today I finished grinding melee kills and grabs to get my Giant Shepard Head banner. I'm happy to announce I will be playing the Novaguard for the remainder of the week.

294H 9M 25S hours played, 895 games played
duinemerwen: (garrus)
I just orderd the Metal Earth Normandy SR2 model kit

What it looks like in real life, as assembled by somebody else:

I'm SO EXCITED for this to arrive. Sadly I forgot to sign up for student shipping trial.

But I'm going to Guelph tomorrow, so I've got that going for me.
duinemerwen: (Ampersand)
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