Account Security

Well here we are a beautiful Monday evening and not a thing to do. All of my kinnies are running around slaughtering Bargheists and Wraiths while I’m playing solitaire on my laptop. Why? Compromised accounts that’s why! In today’s episode we’re going to learn all about account safety and how to make sure you don’t get your account banned like I did today. Also don’t back your cars into poles, did that today too. Don’t freeze your air conditioners into blocks of ice or upset your internet service provider. Don’t do anything I did today basically.

First and Foremost!

Do not give your password to anyone!

Do not give your password to anyone!

Do NOT give your password or user name to ANYONE. Not even people you trust.

Your password is basically the key and your user name is the lock. I know it’s obvious not to tell anyone your password but it is just as important to not let people know your user name. Your user name and password are like two pieces of a puzzle. If you give out your user name you are simply making things easier for anyone who wants into your account.

Second!

This is a spy using your computer. This is how it happens. For real.

This is a spy using your computer. This is how it happens. For real.

Scan your computer for spy ware!

It is best to scan using multiple programs in order to provide a wider base of protection. Some programs may not detect  malware (viruses, spy ware, ad ware, and gray ware) that another program would! There are many many free programs out there that can suit this need! I personally prefer http:\\www.filehippo.com for all of my free software. This website offers a wide range of reliable and trustworthy programs (mostly free) for everything from computer maintenance and anti-virus to web browsers and DVD-burners. If you feel your account has been compromised the first step you should take is to run at least one anti-virus program and at least two anti-spy ware programs on your computer before changing any account information.

Choose a strong password!

Contains 8+ letters, numbers, and symbols with mixed capitalization.

Contains 8+ letters, numbers, and symbols with mixed capitalization.

Never write down your password!

Never write down your password!

Never write your password down!

A password that I recommend to many of the people I work with is No Access. You can turn this simple phrase into a very secure password with a variety of methods. Adding symbols, replacing letters with numbers, and mixing up capitalization all make for a very strong password.

-N04x3zz

-N0_4x3Zz

-N0-aX3zZ

The more detailed the better as long as you can remember it without writing it down!

Remember these easy steps and your days of unencumbered account access will be long and joyous. I just got an e-mail from myself that I did not send today. As you can see I have not been safe with my computer. Here are a few links to check out if you would like some more information.

Turbine’s Account Security FAQ:

Account Security

Blizzard’s Account Security FAQ:

Account Security


Vorand – The Interview!

So, the blog isn’t doing so hot these days. Kin members just aren’t coming by to check things out. What to do what to do…put the kin in the blog I say! I’ll be doing regular spotlights on kin members until I run out of people to interview! First up to bat is Vorand, or as I like to call him – Jim:

Love the 'stache Jim!

Love the 'stache Jim!

Gaming History: Started gaming with Asheron’s Call a few years ago then moved up the ladder to AC2 when it hit the shelves. Unfortunately AC2 did not last long and Vorand was forced into WoW slavery…that is to say the joys of World of Warcraft heh. Eventually, after developing a severe case of stat fatigue (he got tired of everyone getting hung up and high on stats), he moved onto Lord of the Rings Online. This was a very exciting move for him because he is a huge fan of the books and history of the series, having read them several times over. Avoiding Kins at first, Vorand ventured into the LotRO world alone until his mid-20s when he met up with Averydor and the rest, as they say, is history!

Advice for anyone new to the game: Take it slow and enjoy the story and graphics!

How about a look into the man behind the mask! Jim, Vorand’s player, is the old man of the kin. While not older than dirt he certainly gives trees a run for their money. I kid, I kid. This young at heart fifty-something is a regular spark plug! Married with two cats Jim has led a widely varied career path. Starting out as a veterinary technician/anesthesiologist while in college (he has a B.A. in Business) Jim eventually moved into the catering business as a cook. He is now a senior systems manager for a technical company, and has been for the last twenty years.

Ever wanted to know a few interesting facts about Vorand? Maybe his strengths and weaknesses? Hobbies?
Look no further!

Strength: He is a very positive laid back person who always looks at the upside of things!
Weakness: Procrastination! He always puts off those nasty chores if he can :).

Hobbies: Professional photography! Jim did some professional photography on the weekends a while back but, with a lack of free time, he eventually gave up the ghost for recreational photography. He first started getting serious about photography around 18 and even studied under the well known photographer Ansel Adams whose work is pictured below. Jim looks forward to picking up professional photography when he retires!

adamslg

Perhaps one of Ansels more famous photographs (I know it was in several of my textbooks):

Mother of the Great Depression

Mother of the Great Depression

If I get any of Vorand’s work I’ll be sure to post it later! Thanks for tuning in for this edition of Refugee Spotlight! Tune in next time for the next Kin Interview.

Ooh look some of Vorand’s work!

sfoatnight

MDpic4

coast

Refugees of Tatooine?

So a while back I read a great couple blog posts where they did a cross-over of Golden State Warriors to characters from Grey’s Anatomy (i.e. Mike Dunleavy was Meredith Grey), and another cross-over of the Warriors to kids in high school (i.e. J-Rich was the cool kid).  That got me thinking, what if we did a cross-over of Refugees of Isengard officers to characters from Star Wars?

This is all in good fun and I limited it to officers because I’m not going to come up with 200+ Star Wars characters to match everyone in the kin.  I might do another cross-over for active members if you all like this post.

In a galaxy far, far away …

Active Officers

Mandymoore – Kin Leader – Obi-Wan Kenobi

Obi-Wan Kenobi aka Mandymoore

Obi-Wan Kenobi aka Mandymoore

Ambitious and, at times, reckless in his younger days, Obi-Wan is a powerful member of the Jedi Council. He led through action but counciled and mentored the art of patience. Always bringing young Jedi to remote expeditions with unexpected circumstances, Obi-Wan’s calm demeanor keeps the Sith at bay. Through the years he ends up teaches the way of the force to two promising young Jedi.

Dedlock – Second in Command – Anakin Skywalker

Anakin Skywalker aka Dedlock

Anakin Skywalker aka Dedlock

Fueled by passion and unmatched mastery of the force, no Jedi could ever best Anakin one-on-one  (except Obi-Wan that one time). Fearless since he was young, he laughs at overwhelming odds and impossible situations. His great promise and potential led Obi-Wan to take him under his wing.

At a young age Anakin showed great powers of persuasion, which allowed him to hook up with Padme Amidala. In his later years, he becomes the most feared figure in the galaxy, leader of the most imposing force in the galaxy. 

Reeality – Officer – Padme Amidala

Padme Amidala aka Reeality

Padme Amidala aka Reeality

Queen, Senator, diplomat, love interest of Anakin Skywalker. Padme Amidala plays many roles well. She is not only powerful in presence but in that everything Anakin does is due to his passion for her. When Anakin and Padme are together the galaxy is at peace. Apart, not so much.

Elodreth – Instance and Raid Runner – Boba Fett

Boba Fett aka Elodreth

Boba Fett aka Elodreth

Always out for the big score, Boba Fett goes where the reward is the greatest, regardless of the challenge. Even the most forceful of Jedi fear being Boba’s target.

Mondego – Officer – Mace Windu

Mace Windu aka Mondego

Mace Windu aka Mondego

A highly respected member of the Jedi Council, Mace Windu leads through reasoned discussion. But when push comes to shove, Mace will show you he’s a bad mother-forcer.

Torchholder – Raid Leader – Han Solo

Han Solo aka Torchholder

Han Solo aka Torchholder

A born leader, Han Solo is always accompanied by his best friend Chewbacca (Belarrien). He may not be one with the force, but through guile, wit, and bravery, he can get out of any situation.

Celerieniel – Officer – Princess Leia

Princess Leia aka Celerieniel

Princess Leia aka Celerieniel

Hot chick in a bikini. Everyone wants her, even her brother. 

Vorand – Chief Technical Officer – R2D2

R2D2 aka Vorand

R2D2 aka Vorand

Best technical droid in the galaxy, there’s no other droid you’d want co-piloting your X-Wing or hacking Death Star doors.

Beothborn – Officer – C3PO

C3P0 aka Beothborn

C3P0 aka Beothborn

Articulate and able to survive a beheading, C3PO has been here since the beginning of the saga. He may leave for a while, but he always finds a way back.

Glendora – Officer – Yoda

Yoda aka Glendora

Yoda aka Glendora

Incredibly experienced in the way of the force, Yoda’s younger days were filled with taking on the galaxy’s greatest menaces. Now, Yoda spreads his knowledge to any young Jedis that happen to cross his path.

Retired Officers

Salija – Former Leader – Qui-Gon Jinn

Qui-Gon Jinn aka Salija

Qui-Gon Jinn aka Salija

A former mentor of Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon Jinn fought Darth Maul and died pretty quick.

Glynriel – Retired Officer – Clone Troopers

Clone Army aka Glynriel

Clone Troopers aka Glynriel

A huge army of similar troops, they inspire fear throughout the galaxy.

Burwise – Retired Crafting Lead – Sand People

Sand People aka Burwise

Sand People aka Burwise

Always roaming the desert mining and collecting junk, these short sand people had a knack for getting in big trouble.

Gentoogod – Retired Officer – Jango Fett

Jango Fett aka Gentoogod

Jango Fett aka Gentoogod

 Feared mercenary, Jango’s fought the best Jedi to a standstill. He may have been beheaded but his legacy lives on.

Honorable mention

All hobbits – Ewoks

Ewoks aka Hobbits

Ewoks aka Hobbits

The real reason the Empire chose to build the second Death Star orbiting Endor wasn’t because of its ideal location for a shield generator, but rather its endless supply of Ewok meat for hungry stormtroopers.

Rank 9 Party Recap

 My friends, it’s been 9 months since we started the Refugees of Isengard.  As is custom for achieving such esteemed ranks, we threw a serious Rank 9 party that shook the very foundation of Middle Earth.

To start, we all gathered in our kin house and listened to a rousing speech by Mandymoore, our leader (aka myself).

Over 20 kinfolk gathered in our spacious kin house

Over 20 kinfolk gathered in our spacious kin house

Before the speech, we held a /roll for 1G in which Dedlock took the grand prize. In a similar coincidence, Dedlock would also win a later /roll contest for another 1G (and won it with a lowly 80 roll).

After this speech, Maratell and Durgo were both awarded the ability to wear the kin hat, which replaced their faux imitation hats.

The party then went on to the secret event: Freeze Tag.  Syllabeth introduced the game and then we all headed out to the Bree freeze tag arenas to play.

Syllabeth introduces Freeze Tag to everyone

Syllabeth introduces Freeze Tag to everyone

 
After a few rousing rounds of Freeze tag, Mayabur and  Taia were also awarded the kin hat.  We then had an impromptu parade through Bree.  Everyone got on horseback and we slow marched through Bree, with crowds of Bree citizens watching in disbelief at our display of force and coordination.
 
Start of the parade

Start of the parade

 
Yes, our parade attracted many admirers who wanted to join in

Yes, our parade attracted many admirers who wanted to join in

We OWN the Bree fountain

We OWN the Bree fountain

During the parade, several new people joined our kin and by the end of the parade, we had a full 24 main raid going.
 
Ownage (part 1)

Ownage (part 1)

Ownage (part 2)

Ownage (part 2)

Ownage (part 3)

Ownage (part 3)

Ownage (part 4)

Ownage (part 4)

We capped off the party by storming the fort SW of Bree, 24 man raid style.
Stormin the fort!

Stormin the fort!

And so capped off another great kin party.  Stay tuned, we have even bigger party plans for Rank 10!
And before I forget, FTF (Fear The Feather)!

Mandy hits 60

Woot, big occasion today. Mandymoore (aka our kin leader, aka me) hit 60 tonight while accompanied by Celerieniel and Vorand.

We were down in the Waterworks of Moria (aka Moria’s sewer) when it all went down.  I had 1/2 a bar left and was making it towards the city ready to turn in some quests and hit 60.  Then all of a sudden I hit 60 because my Moria worm slayer deed completed.

Not a bad way to go, but especially nice because Cel and Vor were with me.  It’s always fun to hit these achievements and milestones with friends.

One of my first kills as a 60.  Technically Vorands kill, me taking a pic and some item XP, so just as good.

One of my first kills as a 60. Technically Vorands kill, me taking a pic and some item XP, so just as good.

Now, lets go for 70! (albeit in a year or so from now)

Holiday Party 2008 Recap

Happy Holidays Everyone!

To celebrate the holidays this year, the Refugees put on a little party in our kin house.  There was dancing, music playing, and of course presents for many.

To start off, Maloth won a roll of 1G. Mal always seems to be luckier with dice than with toads…

Then as our usual tradition, we distributed the kin hat to some of our newest recruits and members, all of whom I’ve had the pleasure of questing with and will definitely do the hat justice.

Then we had another 1G roll in which Geldof won.

But it wasn’t all just money of course, we had some serious business.  For our first announcement, Holleah earned promotion to Member.  Holl’s been the epitome of helping out others even though she’s at a lower level than most. Remember – it’s not what you have, but what you do with it.

On to the main event- our most helpful member contest. I announced this contest a little while back and the reward (I’d adopt the winner) had people salivating.  It’s quite a reward. The voter turn out was astounding.  Our top 4 vote receivers (there was a 5th but she didn’t attend the party and thus forfeited her award) took the stage – Reeality, Zapphira, Burwise, and Wulfgars. I’ve known these four for a while now and I’d be proud to name any of them as my adopted child.

The first round of elimination saw Reeality and Zapphira leave the stage – but their parting gifts were 2G each.  Definitely not a shabby reward. And then it was on between Wulfgars and Burwise – two heavyweights in the helpfulness arena.  It all came down to one vote – and Burwise was thus crowned prince and given an allowance of 5G and an inheritance of 60g on my eventual retirement. But Wulfgars did not leave empty handed – he received a 2nd Age Guardian’s Belt. Burwise paid over 5g for a similar belt.

After this we held one last roll in which Balgar won 2G.

One last thing – you can’t have a holiday party without a group picture.  Here it is:

Happy Holidays from the Refugees to You

Happy Holidays from the Refugees to You

 Hope your holidays are fun and safe!

First Pure Kin Card Dum Run Recap

Hey I know it’s been a while since the last blog update, but we’re certainly not short on news.

Yesterday we successfully finished our first impromptu CD (Carn Dum) run with only kin members.  This is quite an accomplishment and definitely something to be proud of.

This CD run was led by Torchholder, an experienced fellowship leader, and our newest Raid leader.  Torch provided a solid, calm voice ensuring we accomplished  our goals and didn’t get frustrated at setbacks.  He did very well in his first test and I know I can’t wait to do more CD, Rift, and other runs with Torch and the rest of the kin.

That there is an 30k elite surrounded by 8 10k elites. Not that we fought them though.

That there is an 30k elite surrounded by 8 10k elites. Not that we fought them though.

Oh and BTW, I got the slime and the kin house got a new decoration:

A little thing to remember the run by
A little thing to remember the run by

Next up – more CD runs and soon, a pure kin Rift run!