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(updated October 28, 2014)

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latest news

October 28, 2014:

Tonight I finalized the layout and images for my Star Citizen Journal . . . my this newest section is not officially online (even through it has been online for over a week, as I worked to get the layout right). Stop by and check out my latest focus.


October 16, 2014:

I know that my website has lost its focus for the past few years, and I apologize for that. But I've been working hard to get things back on track again. The big news is that I have finally discovered a new game that I've become passionate in . . . even though it won't be released for a while yet.

To explain all this in detail, I wrote the new "Time for a New Focus" column on the right, about where this website is now heading. I really looking forward to beginning a whole new journey and writing about a totally different kind of adventure, as my newest character(s) explores her biggest and most dangerous realm yet. The future looks bright again. :)


October 11, 2014:

I have been making regular updates to my Flightsim Journal since my last news post here (so I have actually been making updates on this site, even though I keep forgetting to update this news section).


July 15, 2014:

I had a rather tough time since late last year, and for the past few months I had to put things like updating this website on hold, while I took care of getting my life back together. I won't bore you all with the details, but things are much better now, and I'm working on some new projects.

My rebuilt and greatly expanded Flightsim Journal went online tonight. Previously this only covered Microsoft Flight, but my new focus is on Lockheed Martin's Prepar3D. This has taken a lot of my time and effort over the last few months, and there are still a few sections that are mostly just place markers for future content. But my new Flightsim Journal already includes a new Flightsim Home Page, an updated MS Flight section, and a brand new Prepar3D section.


Previous news is in my
News Archive Page


 

Time for a New Focus

Added October 16, 2014: The main focus of my website has always been centered around my favorite computer role playing games; and over time, I have altered that focus to reflect the RPG that I was currently spending the most time on. [Yes, there are other part of my website, like my Flightsim section, and my Outdoor Recreation section, and my Bio and Girl Gamer sections . . .  but the RPGs have always been the main focus.]

My website began with Morrowind, then my focus changed to Oblivion, and then to Fallout 3 (and FONV), and finally to Skyrim. So my last change of focus was when shortly before Skyrim was released, but when the game came out, my focus went out of focus a bit. This was partially because Skyrim wasn't the RPG that I hoped it would be; but mainly because it ran so poorly on my computer. I struggled with Skyrim and tried to make it my main focus for nearly a year, until shifting my attention back the the two Fallout games. I now own a much better gaming PC, but Skyrim had been out for almost two years by the time that I owned a computer that was able to run it well . . . and by then it was too late. I tried, but I could never seem to get excited about Skyrim again.

All the RPGs that I focused on are Bethesda titles, and their game have provided me with countless hours of enjoyment, but perhaps it is time to shift my focus to something totally different. For nearly three years now (Skyrim was released on 11/11/11) this website has been a bit unfocused . . . and so have I.

During the past two years, I've been playing a number of other games, including all three Mass Effect games. I really enjoyed Mass Effect, and got pretty immersed in that game's universe. It is a great RPG, but decided early on that I didn't want to create a Mass Effect Journal, mainly because I was a bit late in getting into the series, and I was deal with health issues again, so I just needed to fully immerse myself in the game (without having to take notes about every thing). After my new computer arrived last year, I've also been spending more time flying flightsims, now that I own a computer that can run them well. My current flightsim focus is Prepa3D, which is now the main focus of my Flightsim Journal.

Over the past month or so, I've been trying to figure out what I wanted to focus on next here, or if it was time for me to just give up and shut down this site. I briefly considered the latter, but there's a big part of me that needs to share my passions, so I knew that if I did became passionate about a new game, that I really wanted to share it with my online friends, by creating a new website journal.

When I asked myself what I was looking for, I immediately knew that it had to be another RPG, but I also knew that it had to be a game that was totally different from all the other RPGs I had focused on. I had really enjoyed Mass Effect, even though I was often frustrated because I didn't have nearly the freedom that I had with Bethesda's games. But I have also really been enjoying flying around in Prepar3D's virtual world, where I have the freedom to fly anywhere on the planet . . . I just wish that P3D also included some actual RPG aspects, so that I could get more immersed in my flights. If I could just find a RPG that gave me the immersion of Mass Effect (where I was attached to my character), along with the shear amount of exploration freedom that I have when flying P3D, I would be in gamer's heaven.

Then I actually stumbled upon two new games which seemed to be exactly what I was looking for: Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen. The only problems were that both of these games are still in development, and I needed to decide which one that I wanted to focus on. After reading a ton about both games, I finally decided that Star Citizen was the best fit for me. The more I learned about this game, the more excited I became. And it has been a very long time since I have felt this passionate about a game that is being developed.

Don't worry, I'm not going to abandon all my other journals just yet. For one thing, Star Citizen isn't going to be released until 2016. And I still have some unfinished work to compete in my Fallout journals . . . and my FONV Realism Tweaks mod still needs at least one more minor update. I just wanted to let you all know that my main focus is now on Star Citizen, and that is where I'll be spending most of my time.

Note: If you're interested in following my Star Citizen journey, you can now grab a shuttle to my Star Citizen Journal. [I only recently arrived in this sector, so there's not too much to see until I can expand my base beyond my hangar. Hopefully I can have some new areas opened by sometime next week.]


Site Information/Index

Home - (this page) My home page, and my Website's main page. This is my site's  introduction and information page, and the rest of my site branches out from here.

News - This is my news column, over on the left side of this page.

Outdoor Recreation - Includes my kayak and hiking journals.

Arwen's RPG Journals - Links and information on my RPG Journal Sites.

Flightsim Section - Mainly focused on Prepar3d, but I also cover MS Flight.

Other Pages - Links and information on the misc. pages of my Website.

FAQ's - Questions people have asked me, along with my answers.

Videos (updated 05/14/12) - some of my favorite videos.

Links - to some of my favorite sites.

 

Outdoor Recreation Section

My Kayak Journal (updated 04/16/13): kayaking is my favorite recreational activity, so I thought others might enjoy reading about my paddling adventures. (There's also a bit about my collegiate sailing experiences.)

 

My Hiking Journal (updated 09/21/12): Covers hiking weather, hiking gear, and my recent hiking adventures in the White Mountains (very near my home). This section includes My White Mountains Page (about the mountains themselves).

My Summer 2003 Hiking Page (my older hiking page, about my hikes during the summer of 2003).

 

Flightsim Section

(updated 10/11/14): Previously I only covered Microsoft Flight, but my new focus is on Lockheed Martin's Prepar3D. Includes a new Flightsim Home Page, an updated MS Flight section, and a brand new Prepar3D section (which already includes its own tips page). I'm currently working on P3D Add-Ons and Navigation pages.
 

Miscellaneous Section

Bio Page (updated 03/12/13): A bit about me and my life (only because so many asked).  Now in an easier to read format on a single page.

 


My Custom Gaming Computer (updated 09/03/13): In case you're interested in what I am playing my games on.  My computer is the portal that I use to enter the fantasy world of computer games. It is also my medium that I use in creating my mods (and my website). It is basically a tool . . . but it is a very important tool. When you use the right tool, it becomes an extension of yourself . . . but when you use a tool that was not made for the task you are trying to do, you'll likely spend a lot of time being frustrated. For years I struggled with a computer that wasn't very good at running many games; plus my old computer wasn't very dependable.  So before I ordered a new computer in late July 2013, I did my homework.


Arwen's Realm (always current): I've been running my own forum since April 25, 2004, as an extension of my website.  The main focus was originally around Morrowind, which later became Oblivion (Elder Scrolls IV), and then expanded to include a section devoted to Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas. The latest addition is a Skyrim section (TES V).

So my forums have grown and morphed quite a bit since they began.  And there were a LOT of growing pains - including huge problems with the board's original host.  In January 2007 I found a much more dependable host and I completely redesigned my forums (yet again). 

This time I renamed them Arwen's Realm, and I set up the forums as sort of a virtual community, with categories that are like buildings or areas within a community.  We have a Community Center, a Media Portal, The Campus, the Gaming Portal, The Park, and the member's only Chat Room.

When we moved to the new host, we lost most of our members.  So we're a small, but very friendly online community . . . and we would love you to stop by and visit us (and perhaps even join our little community). 

 
 

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Arwen's RPG Journals

This section contains information on and links (click on each section's title) to my Role Playing Game Journals, my Avatar page, and my Girl Gamer page.  The images for my journals are all in-game screenshots.  Currently includes my Skyrim Journal, my Fallout New Vegas Journal, my Fallout 3 Journal, my Oblivion Journal, and my Morrowind Journal.  Also includes my Avatar and my Girl Gamer pages.


 Skyrim Journal (updated 9/09/13)

Skyrim was released on 11/11/11 (when my own copy arrived), but I was pretty unhappy with it. In my opinion, the best part of a RPG is being able to customize your character, which includes the stats that give your character her strengths and weaknesses.  This was pretty much gutted from Skyrim, as Attributes were for the most part eliminated (as part of the decision to remove limitations from your character . . . to mainstream the game).  This pretty much ruined Skyrim for me.  I've also had a bunch of computer issues since early December, so I haven't even played the game all that much yet. 

My Skyrim Journal does now include a modding section, but I no longer have any plans for anything beyond that . . . until I replace my current computer with one that will run the game, without slowing down to a slide show in every village, or when there are any number of NPCs or creatures nearby. [And I won't be able to replace my computer until I recover from my latest medical expenses, and am able to save up for one again. That won't likely happen until next year.]


 Fallout New Vegas Journal (updated 11/18/13)

Fallout New Vegas is a RPG and is basically a continuation of Fallout 3 (I'm using virtually the same character that I created in FO3, and used a face importer utility so that she even looks the same.)  Fallout New Vegas was developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Bethesda Softworks: "While New Vegas is not a direct sequel, it will use the same engine and be in the same style as Fallout 3, and is being developed by some of the people who worked on previous Fallout games at Black Isle Studios. It is set in and around post-apocalyptic Las Vegas (New Vegas)."

My New Vegas Fantasy story is called "Trials of a New Vegas Girl," but it still doesn't include much at all (and I'm probably going to discontinue it altogether, as I just have too many other things that I need to be focusing on). [This is currently on hold, indefinitely.]

I expanded my modding to include Fallout New Vegas and created my second overhaul mod . . . my NV Realism Tweaks (which was a bit crazy, since I was still releasing updates for my FO3 overhaul ).


 Fallout 3 Journal (updated 11/18/13)

I am currently focusing mostly on Fallout 3, as this is the game that I am now playing (I just reinstalled Fallout 3 and began a new game on April 14, 2013), and am now updating the older chapters of my "Trials of a Wasteland Wanderer" as I play my game.  So expect new chapters to be posted in the very near future.

My Fallout 3 character, right after escaping from Vault 101

Fallout is a RPG that takes place in the future . . . 200 years after civilization was nearly destroyed by a nuclear war. My journal has only been online since March 2, 2009, but until I graduated from my university in the end of May, my journal was mostly just my Mod Section and my Fallout Tips Section.  After returning home, I began writing the Trials of a Wasteland Wanderer, which is the name of my Fallout 3 fantasy story.  This time my character won't be a Wood Elf . . . but I'm sure she'll be as quirky as ever (since she'll be based on me again . . . since I am the one actually playing the game, and making all the decisions).

A large part of my Fallout 3 Journal will always be my mod list/review.  So at the end of each chapter is my Gaming Comments and Tips section - where I explain how specific mods have added to my gaming experience for the gameplay that was covered in that chapter.  There is also a section on role-playing, where I explain some of my role-playing techniques that have made the game more immersive for me.  My primary goal in writing this journal is to help other players make Fallout 3 into a better gaming experience.

Fallout 3 was the first game that I really modded . . . and I went a bit overboard by creating an overhaul mod . . . my Realism Tweaks (which is NOT something that I would recommend doing on your own . . . especially if you are just learning how to mod).


 Oblivion Journal (updated 08/30/11)

This was my second RPG journal, which went online in March of 2006, and includes an extensive Mod List / Review for the game. 

It also contains my Oblivion fantasy story, which is titled "Trials of a Semi-Clueless Wood Elf."  It is the direct sequel to my Morrowind Journal, so it follows the adventures of my same little blue-eyed Wood Elf character . . . yes, the one  with the wild pinkish-purple hair (based on my little avatar elf).   

This is Elder Scrolls IV, and is a RPG.  The story takes place in Cyrodiil, which is the capital province of Tamriel.  Even though this is obviously a fantasy story, it will be built upon my actual game play. So I don't really know how this adventure will turn out, any more than the rest of you.


  Morrowind Journal (updated February 8, 2010)

Now completely reformatted to match the rest of my site (along with a new final chapter). This was my first RPG journal, which went online in May 2002, shortly after the game was released.  Morrowind is a computer role-playing game, and is also known as Elder Scrolls III.  My fantasy story is called "Trials of a Clueless Wood Elf" and it is based on my experiences while I was playing my first RPG.  There are 33 chapters, plus a tips page and a MOD page.  My fantasy story continues in my Oblivion Journal.


 My Avatar Page (updated 07/29/11)

My little elf avatar, with her pink candy-flossed hair, has become so popular that she has her own fan page.  The character in all of my RPGs is always based on my avatar.


 Girl Gamer Page (updated 10/04/13)


The latest Tomb Raider game - a Survivor is Born [2013]

A bit about being a girl gamer and some of my favorite games.  As a real life survivor (see my Bio Section), my favorite games are ones where you have to battle against the odds to survive . . . which is why the newest Tomb Raider game has really caught my attention (its game trailer is now in the video section).  Most of my own mods are extreme realism mods, that make survival much move challenging.

My latest game section covers DreamFall Chapters . . . the long awaited third game in "The Longest Journey" Saga, which just wrapped up a very successful Kickstarter fund raising campaign.

There's also a new "Games to Watch" section, which includes Remember Me, a new cyberpunk adventure game;  "Banished,"a game that I recently discovered, which is planned to be released within a few months; and Assassin's Creed 3: Liberation HD, which has just been confirmed, and is planned to be released in early 2014..


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FAQ (about myself and my Website)

When I first started writing my Morrowind Journal, I began to get a lot of email, from all over the world. Many people just wanted to let me know that they loved reading my journal. But I also received plenty of questions, mostly about the game (see my Morrowind Journal), but many people wanted to know more about me. Here are the questions I have been asked the most:

Where do you live?
I live in a small town in Northern New Hampshire, which is a small state in the Northeastern corner of the United States. (see my White Mountains page for more). 

Why did you start a personal Website?
Because I'm a creative person, and one day I just decided to learn how to make my own website. You still won't find a single photo of me here, because this was never intended to be a personal vanity page.  It's not a blog . . . and it was never meant to be about me.  This is a place for me to share my passions.

What do you do besides writing your journals and running this website? Well, I do all sorts of stuff - in fact, I NEVER seem to have enough time to keep up with things (as you should know, if you've been waiting for my update here).  I've also had to deal with a lot of medical problems and several major operations in recent years, but I'm currently doing mostly ok and am physically very fit.  I cross county ski and snowshoe in the winter, and for the last few years, I've been doing a great deal of kayaking in the warmer months (mid April through early November), paddling over several hundred miles each year.  I also love to hike. 

I was finally able to attend college a few years ago . . . and graduated in 2009 from Roger Williams University (RWU) - a private university in Rhode Island, with a BS in Legal Studies (and a double major in Political Science), where  I was on the varsity sailing team (even though I was literally twice the age of all my teammates and had never even set foot in a sailboat before attending RWU).  My team finished my last season ranked as the #3 college sailing team in North America.  I'm on full disability, but am trying my best to find employment (which was of course the main reason for going to college), but it has been extremely difficult to find any one that is willing to give me a chance, since I have like no work experience (and I do have some major issues - which is why I'm on disability).  Oh . . . I'm also writing a book (which has been pretty much on hold since I became a full-time college student). I also graduated in May 2007 from New Hampshire Technical Institute, with an Associate's degree in Paralegal Studies.

How old are you? (Goodness, I get this one a bunch!)
I'm older than most people guess. Ok, so that means that I must not act my age. But that's not entirely true, because I do act my age, I just don't act my biological age. Due to something that happened to me when I was very little (which is not even actually covered in my Bio Pages), my perceived age is quite a bit younger than my chronological age.  Fortunately I also look younger than my biological age (although not as young as my perceived age . . . sigh).  And I'm in GREAT shape (which constantly amazes my doctors), so in reality my age is pretty unclear . . . even to me.  It was not possible for me to attend college until just a few years ago, so even though I'm a college student, I'm a non-tradition one (as in older).  Ok, so I've never been what you would call ordinary. (Yeah, I know . . . I still didn't actually answer the question.


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Videos

Here are some of my current favorite YouTube videos, that I wanted to share with you:


If I had the resources, I would make a RPG based on "The Hunger Games."

To me, this would make an awesome first-person RPG . . . your character would be one of the tributes from one of the 12 Districts, and there could be totally different arenas . . . for the different years/Hunger Games.  You would then select your character's unique strengths and weaknesses (their Stats).  Ideally, you would begin the game in your selected District, where you could interact with the other characters, before you are picked as a tribute.  The Capital could be the training/tutorial part of the game, and your performance there would determine how much help (gifts) you later receive from any sponsors. Official "Hunger Games" Website.



"Revolution" is a new TV series that I'm actually looking forward to this Fall.

I read James Howard Kunstler's "World Made by Hand" in college, in my environmental political science class, and was so impressed with it that I later used it as my selection in my book group.  The series is not based on the novel, but they both deal with a world where technology has been lost, and where you have to revert to the old ways to survive. Official NBC "Revolution" Website.



My Immortal - A tribute to Aragorn from LOTR



Dr. Seuss' The Lorax - Theatrical Trailer
(I needed something to brighten up the place.)


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Links

kayak.gif (2488 bytes) Outdoor Recreation and Conservation Sites:

Bretton Woods XC - This is the Nordic Center, where I do most of my cross country skiing. It's one of the largest xc centers in the Eastern US, with a 100 kilometer trail system.
Outback Kayak - A family run kayak store/adventure tours in NH White Mountains - This is where I bought my kayak and took my white water kayak lessons.
Squam Lake Association - Conservation group for the preservation of my favorite place to kayak.   The two Squam Lakes consist of 65 miles of shoreline, 30 islands, 13 reefs, 20 coves, and 3 bays, so this is a wonderful place to explore in a kayak.
Appalachian Mountain Club - America's oldest conservation and recreation organization.
Sierra Club - America's most effective environment advocate organization
America's Rivers - River Conservation nonprofit organization

College Related Sites:

NHTI - New Hampshire Technical Institute - Concord, NH.  This is my first college - where I received my Associate's degree in Paralegal Studies in May 2007.
RWU - Roger Williams University - Bristol, RI.  This is the university that I'm currently enrolled in. 
NH Senate - This is where I did my internship, as a Senate Intern, for the 2007 session (January through June).

Competing in Boston on Nov. 8, 2008
(I'm out there somewhere - in one of the 25 boats, at the start line)


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