Google+ ALT : ernative: 04/18/2010 - 04/25/2010

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Broken!

The Internets appear to be broken. I've had intermittant access all day, and continual phone calls to my ISP have finally resulted in their Helpdesk imploding.

If you can read this, I'm making an internet cable out of recycled plastic bags and string and I hope to be with you at some point before the end of the weekend...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's a Plan!

It was only a matter of time. This morning I got out a pencil and a pad, sat down, and took a long look at the Family. I need some kind of focus to get me through to Cataclysm. I am a control freak and I crave a measure of directed attainment. Having A Plan makes me feel better. So I made one.

1. Finish the Tournament on all the 80's. This does, I am told, have an air of mind-numbing repetition about it. I will agree, that the same three quests every day may be enough to do my head in, but the reality is that two 80's are already done with the Tourney. I plan to get everyone through all the factions, raise all those factions to Exalted, and then call it time, with the exception of P who will bite the bullet and get as many mounts as she's able in an attempt to drag us kicking and screaming to the 100 Mounts Achievement.

2. Outland Loremaster on all the 80's. This is where I intend to make my money for Cataclysm. Questing at 80 is extremely lucrative, even if you're not an Enchanter and dusting all your quest rewards. I'm aiming for as much money in the bank as conceivably possible come Cataclysm because I have every single profession to level, and that's not gonna be cheap. The added bonus to this is the toons with gathering proffs who inevitably will be picking up saleable items to boot. I've marked a starting gold figure in my vanity bank, we'll see just how much moolah the exercise brings in.

3. Two more alts to 80. I'm not counting the DK here, but the Rogue is now 79 and building rested, the Priest (and my only Scribe) is 75 and doing the same. Once that's done I really am doing no more until the Worgen. Really. NO!


If that doesn't take me until November... ^^

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It's the Same Old Song


It's true, it's all been done before. Nothing is original. A smart person can spot this, a smart trio of Australians can make it funny. However, there's an art to making something we all know is familiar seem entertaining and immersive, especially after five years.

I have a friend who reads here whose played time is significant. He's racked up over three hundred days, and I suspect if he put all his alts time together he could probably push that close to a year in virtual terms. He seems to think that's something he should be ashamed of, that having 'wasted' a year of his life on an online game is something he should be feeling guilty about. I have to say I disagree. It's not about the same old things either, and I'm not just saying that because I'm in a similar situation. P clicked over the 300 days played recently, and it made me stop and look back on the time I've spent in game. I've met some fantastic people, I've had good and bad times, I've stepped back a couple of times but I keep coming back, because it's never the same two days running. On most days that's NOTHING to do with the content either, it's the social aspects that make things so entertaining, even on the bad days.

I think the issues people have with time online inevitably come back to maintaining a healthy balance, of keeping all parts of your life on an even keel. It's far easier to 'hide' online when things are bad, the same way it is to escape into a TV show or even into social networking, the trick is being aware it's happening and then doing something about it. When the sun's out, like it's been this week here, I am quietly gratified to log and find no-one else online. The lack of people inevitably makes people think twice about being inside and pushes them away from the game anyway. Even though things remain the same online, you feel the need to be different. When the sun is shining your first thought should be to be outside or doing something else, simply because you have no idea when the next blizzard or volcanic eruption could be... ^^

There is a comfort in familiarity. There's a reason those four chords keep being used, it's a hit in the making. There's a reason Blizzard don't change the quest mechanics, but it doesn't stop them making those repetitive tasks more interactive or immersive. A foolish person would mess with the winning formula. To those people still whining about the Sparkly Horse, for instance, who don't understand why Blizzard can get away with charging 20 euros (for an item that costs half an expansion) when this amount in other MMO's causes rioting, well the answer is simple. This isn't the same as other MMO's. This isn't just a game anymore, now is it? I think a 'hobby' might be a better word, at least for me. It's an interest away from just saying 'I enjoy playing games', it has a line all to itself. I have other things I do, Warcraft is one of them, but I don't feel guilty about it because I enjoy it. When I don't, I go do something else. 'Twas ever thus...

The point is, don't feel bad about something you enjoy. It's the same old mantra all over again: if you don't enjoy it, time for a change. If it's making other things suffer, time for some balance. It'll still be here, the same old things, but the chances are it's not them that are the problem, macrotransactions or not.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Matters Arising :: April 19th Edition

In an attempt to be a bit more organised, here's the first of a couple of new changes to the Site. Mondays will now forever be known as 'what just happened and what's coming' days, when I take a look back at the previous week's muppetry and cast a look forward to what's coming. Any excuse for organisation is, I think you'll find, a Good Thing (TM)

FACT: Scary Blue Women on Sparkly Ponies look STUPID. Intentional Caps.

I find myself agreeing with an increasing number of people who think in-game capitalism (via the Real World) is a dangerous step forward in game terms. However, with my Blizzard 'Pony Overlords' Hat on, I still really don't blame them. Make hay while the sun shines, as a wise man once said. Actually, I bet that was a wise woman's phrase and some bloke hijacked it... Needless to say, this isn't the first time we'll see this and I bet the next time it'll be summat even more desirable. Remember we still have the Two Player Recruit a Friend Mount to come.

Blizzard's Cataclysm Advertising Campaign 'getting old'

AP, from bbc.co.uk
The audacious campaign to raise awareness of the forthcoming Blizzard 'sundering of Azeroth' expansion we know as Cataclysm by making a Real World volcano erupt in Iceland and shower most of Northern Europe in ash is not really working as intended. In terms of a news story you have to admit it's different, but really the rest of the World would like to move on now. Part of me thinks this was Ghostcrawler's idea. He still owes us a moose too...

Saronite Prices close to Three Figures!

It's been on the cards for a while, but this weekend saw AH prices for that most desirable of crafting mats drop below 1000g. It was a brief moment mind, Trade haggling remains at the 1000-1100g level but it will not be long I suspect before we see the prices settling below the four figure mark. By this token we're about ready for a PTR patch, especially as Arthas has been downed in 25 man hard mode which means at least one guild is sitting around having cleared all the current content. However, what would we get? Is the retaking of Gnomeregan and the Echo Isles really not that far away...?

...and in Other News...

I may have (foolishly) offered to level my son's Death Knight to 80, but before that happens I have a Priest at 75 and my Rogue Project at 78. I'm sure a while back I promised to stop levelling stuff. Foolish girl. I've set a gold target to have banked for Cataclysm, so over the next few months I WILL BE QUESTING across the entire family to attain this. I'm also going to be setting some goals for each family member. M the Druid, for instance, will be getting a complete Vanilla Epic set, including (I hope) the entire run of T1 from Molten Core (as I suspect it's likely to disappear come Sundering Time) I'll make a seperate post with the other goals in the week..

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Administraaaaation

1. Must update Achievements List
2. Must add updated level list
3. Must recover after Easter Holidays first...

If you want me, I'll be over here asleep for a bit... ^^ Normal service will be resumed tomorrow (I hope!)