Monday, March 31, 2008

Byte: The Daily Grind

I have to admit, it's not as bad as I feared. The problem with any MMORPG is that when you hit the level cap, maintaining your interest is harder than when you have the goal of the next level-up. I've always preferred progressing characters up the level ladder to simply grinding gold or faction reputation, but Blizzard have done quite a good job with making the level cap end-game more interesting in recent patches.

The addition of daily repeatable quests hasn't been universally welcomed, but since I started trying them out after the Sunwell patch came out last week, I've made about 700 gold. Clearly, this is quite a stunning amount of money. Another few weeks of that, and I'll have my epic flying mount, which is a bit of a mouthwatering prospect, truth be told. At weekend, I unlocked a couple of daily quests for the Sha'tari Skyguard, which ups my daily gold potential for quest rewards beyond 100 gold a day. And this isn't even taking into account the money I can make in the auction house selling surplus armour and other items.

I did initially baulk at the thought of spending weeks doing the same quests again and again and again, but Blizzard have done something quite clever here: the quests themselves are quite fun to do (such as bombing raids using a flying mount, or wrangling Aether Rays in Blade's Edge Mountains) and generally take between five and fifteen minutes each to do. Getting 10 gold and a supply bag containing a random level 68 Green item for doing a survey quest in Nagrand, which can be done in about five minutes flat, is almost insultingly easy. It's the fastest money I've ever earned in WoW, and it's a lot more realistic to do on a daily basis than raid instances in the hope that you're going to get a nice drop you can flog for a fortune in the auction house. When you can make gold this quickly, it really does make me wonder why people would pay real money for gold. It's not exactly hard work, or particularly time consuming. I guess some people really can't be bothered to work for something, and have an instant gratification complex... but anyway.

So, I'm making a good amount of money for my main, while still having enough time left over to devote to my two main alts. My hunter's up to level 55 now, so is pretty much able to quest everywhere in Azeroth, and is tantalisingly close to Outland now. My Mage is also doing well, reaching her mid-30s, though here is where progress for her will slow, as I've got to make the decision of whether to go to Desolace or Stranglethorn Vale; neither of which are particularly appetising prospects. I ended up junking my Shaman, because unlike William Shatner, I don't appear to be suited to being a CONDUIT of the ancient forces of Nature... I didn't find Shamans as much fun to play as my Mage or Rogue, and I really don't have time to keep half a dozen alts on the go. My Priest is still stuck at level 24 as well, and I'd probably junk her as well, if it weren't for the fact that she's a pretty decently skilled tailor and has 100-or-so points in Enchanting. I switched my Hunter's professions from Skinning/Leatherworking to Mining/Jewelcrafting, as I've already got a high level Skinner/Leatherworker, so I might as well diversify. Besides, there's probably more money in Jewelcrafting, and certainly in Mining, as compared to Skinning.

I just hope that I can grind the money for my epic riding training before the new expansion pack comes out, because until that's out of the way, I'd much rather have the gold than the experience. I've given up on buying things from the auction house, firstly just to save the cash, but mainly because there's absolutely no point spending gold on new armour now, when Wrath of the Lich King comes out, all my current armour will be turned into vendor trash by the quest rewards. Still, the last couple of weeks represents the best fun I've had with WoW since, well... since The Burning Crusade came out a year ago. Long may it continue, because there's sod all else out on PC I want to play for the next few months...

Friday, March 28, 2008

Byte: You are gold, GOLD!

I'm quite enjoying the new patch that went live yesterday, as the new content has given me a fresh impetus to dust off Shareth, and do some questing with her again. The new Sunwell daily quests are quite profitable - I've made about 200 gold in the last two days - and that's not even counting the possible revenue from the quest reward items I've been able to stick in the auction house. Of course, it's going to take a few weeks yet (even at the rate of 100g+ a day) to be able to afford my epic flying mount training, but still, it represents more progress than I've made in the last two months. The release of the patch has been well-timed too, as my two main alts need to spend some time in Ironforge to recoup some rested state, which allows me to devote more time to Shareth.

Having the new laptop (which is performing wonderfully, by the way) is definitely speeding up my progress, both in terms of money grinding for my main and level grinding for my alts, as I can crack it out after Fleur has gone to bed and put in another hour or two before Morpheus calls. It's not so great for my sleeping patterns, but who needs sleep, eh? WIMPS and GIRLS, that's who... (Random interjection: One of my mantra's is that "waiting is a waste of life" - especially in queues - does the same apply to sleep? Thinking "not", but wondering if the answer is actually "yes"...)

WoW can be a cruel game, sometimes, though. Last night I was trying to solo a quest in Skettis, and basically, the game decided it wanted to make me it's bitch for twenty minutes. I constantly mobbed me three or four at a time with level 70-71 enemies, and killed me three times in the space of five minutes. Realising that I'm clearly not going to be able to kill off the other two Time-Lost Clerics in the 8 minutes I had left on my potion to be able to even see them, I decide to resurrect, repair my gear (by now the repair costs have outweighed the reward for the quest) and fly off to Shadowmoon Valley to quest there instead. Only to find that there's a fully PvP-epic'ed Tauren Druid camping in the hills I'm flying over, who promptly ganks me while I'm in Flight Form. I can't even run, because he's fucking got Epic flight form and is faster than me. So I switch out of flight form in mid-air, dying on landing, just to not give him the satisfaction of earning any honour (but costing me another 5 gold in repair bills). I rezz again, go to the nearest inn to log off and then play with one of my alts... Sometimes, you've got to know when to it's time to stop beating your brains out against the wall and just do something more fun.

"Fun", of course, being a relative term. While I understand why people would want to use bots for money grinding and levelling characters, but for me it would just totally miss the point of buying the game in the first place. If you don't have a few hundred hours to level a character up from level 1 to 70, perhaps you're playing the wrong game? Having a bot (or worse, paying someone else to do it for you) completely devalues any sense of achievement you would otherwise get from doing it yourself. Buying success isn't the same as getting success through hard work. It might initially taste the same, but the aftertaste leaves something a little sour in the mouth. Just ask any Chelsea fan...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Byte: Further progress

In the continuing absence of anything decent to play (well, that's not true - I've still not played much of Super Mario Galaxy, No More Heroes or Sins of A Solar Empire yet), I've been plugging more hours into WoW, and frankly, been making rather hideous amounts of progress. Yonn, my Hunter, is almost within touching distance of Outland now, as he's midway to level 55. I reckon another week or two, and he'll be knocking on the door of level 60. Kalandra, my Mage, is also levelling nicely, as I've taken her up four levels within the last week or so, and will probably hit level 33 sometime later tonight.

Of course, the new Sunwell patch has opened up a new quest hub that I need to get Shareth to, as I'm still several thousand gold short of being able to afford the training for my Epic Flying Mount (which has been waiting for me in the Bank now for several months). I still can't really face just sitting down and grinding the money, I'd much rather quest for it instead, and now that I've found a decent guild who are just starting out in Outland, this will actually give me the opportunity to go back and do a lot of the instances I skipped the first time around, which should be a decent enough source of gold. Of course, with the impending arrival of the new expansion pack (still no word on a confirmed release date yet, but surely soon), any instancing and raiding could soon be put on the back burner as I go for the new level cap, and the quest rewards in Northrend will surely render anything I attempt to go grinding in Outland for now utterly useless, so I might just wait and put time into my alts instead. We shall see...

Byte: Reviewing the review

The Byron review of videogames and the the use of the internet by children, sparked off by the Manhunt 2 debacle last year, is finally in.

Amazingly, the report seems to have come up with some reasonable conclusions - namely, most parents are idiots who have no idea what their kids are up to. Well, knock me down with a feather... I never saw that one coming. *choke* Okay, perhaps it used slightly more generous language than that, but the report (it seems to me at least) shifts the main burden of blame away from the games industry and onto parents.

There was a chap on Radio Five Live this morning discussing the report who said that some parents were saying that they thought that the current ratings on videogames were skill age ratings, not content age ratings. I presume they must be thinking about the PEGI ratings, and not the BBFC ones (which have been ubiquitous for well over twenty years now), but still, that's a breathtaking degree of ignorance and idiocy, if true (which it no doubt is). It all goes to show that the problem doesn't lie with the children, or even the games, it's the frickin' PARENTS who need educating.

I've been saying for ages now that stronger regulation at the point of sale is necessary to keep inappropriate games out of the hands of kids too young to play them, and is infinitely more preferable to the tabloid "ban this sick filth" approach. Clearly, the joint PEGI and BBFC ratings aren't getting the job done, even though I think they're entirely adequate, assuming you actually look at the box and read the guidance - though that's evidently what a lot of people are not doing - so perhaps an entirely new, mandatory, rating system specifically for videogames is in order. Though no doubt learning a new advisory age rating system would be too much for the parents who can't even be bothered to read the back of the goddamn box to find out what the game is about, so even this isn't an ideal solution...

At least this report shifts the focus away from videogames being the source of all societal evil and highlights something that's been getting my goat for years: the fact that parents are not assuming responsibility for the actions of their children, and are apportioning blame everywhere but on themselves. It's refreshing to see a government review that actually points the finger at parents, saying "you've got to do better!" and then actually making practical recommendations that will help the situation. They're about as rare as flying pigs, so I'm genuinely staggered.

So, The Byron Review, then: 9/10 - a definite classic in the genre.

Somehow, though, I don't expect it will actually have that much of an impact. When we live in a world where people think that microwaving babies is a way of coping with marital stress, we've got more fundamental problems to worry about than the games our kids play...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Byte: Better to be poor and happy than rich and miserable

I told you I was in a dangerous mood... We went shopping at Sainsbury's last night, and they had the Medion laptop with the GeForce 8600 card back in stock again. I ummed and ahhed about it for a few minutes and went home empty-handed. Predictably, I didn't get any sleep last night because there was this gnawing voice at the back of my head going "We wantsss it! My preciousss!", so I resolved to pop back into Sainsbury's first thing this morning, and if it was still there, clearly, it was meant for me.

And now I'm typing you this blog post on it, as I do all the tedious maintenance that you have to do with new PCs - downloading new graphics drivers, OS updates, Spybot, Zonealarm, AdAware, AVG, all the usual stuff. Oh, and installing World of Warcraft, naturally. It will probably take all day to patch, but hey... I'm still a bit wary about it having Vista installed rather than XP, but I will check it out and give it a chance before I take a hatchet to the hard drive. The laptop itself is lovely - a clear, bright screen with no dead pixels, and a nicely-sprung, proper-sized keyboard you could type all day on - which is just as well, since that's what I intend to use it for in the main, writing. Well, that and late-night WoW sessions after I've been chucked off the games rig in the bedroom...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Bark/Byte: Captain Sensible

Sigh. I know that in the current financial climate, offloading debt is a very sensible thing to do, but somehow, spending your annual bonus entirely on reducing your debts by near-as-dammit 30% isn't quite as satisfying as spending it on a new laptop...

It is the best thing in the long run, I know, and I hope to be entirely debt-free by the end of the year (the mortgage doesn't count, since that equates to the cost of rent anyway), but... well, it's just not glam, is it?

As always, it's a case of *I need* being more boring than *I want*, but at least since I finished paying off the car last year, I do have a fair bit more spare cash floating around, so at least the debt-servicing hasn't stopped me from ordering a copy of Super Mario Galaxy from Play and renewing my WoW subscription for another three months. Yeah, I know, I'm still hooked. Yonn is up to level 51 now, and I've even found him and Shareth a nice, casual-friendly guild, which I basically accepted a membership of on the strength of the name/pun alone. Quite scarily, since I'm one of the only level 70s in the guild, they've even given me POWER. Surely this will end in tears... only kidding, as they all seem like quite a nice bunch so far.

I've also put another level on my mage and rogue (27 and 23 respectively), so things are going pretty nicely on Azeroth at the moment. Anyway, it's lunchtime, and I'm working from home. That must mean that Yonn's going to come out to play for an hour... ah, the joys of home-working!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Byte: Warning Signs

I'm in a little bit of a dangerous mood at the moment. Not dangerous in the sense that I'm going to go out into the street with a sword and start cleaving people in two, but in the sense that I've got a little too much spare cash sitting in my pocket, and I want a new toy to spend it on... I received my annual bonus last week (after the blinking taxman took his bite, naturally), and I think it's fair to say that I've never had so much money in my bank account. Which is quite a scary thought, since it's not actually a huge amount of money, just a whole lot better than the overdraft I've been living with since I was a student... The sensible thing to do in this economic climate would be to punt the money into paying off the credit card, but who wants to be sensible when there are so many gorgeous tech-toys to be had?

I almost came back to my desk at lunch with a shiny new PSP and a copy of Patapon (damn you, Oskar - in the nicest possible way, of course - for telling me about it this morning, because it really looks intriguing). I did manage to resist, barely, purely because there's feck all else worth buying a PSP for - even if it a very shiny and lovely piece of technology. I also put serious thought into a new wireless router at lunch, as the one I currently have is no longer supported by D-Link, and has never worked with my Wii or DS, and is now constantly playing up with my PC as well. I have a feeling that I will be coming into possession of a nice new Netgear wireless modem router before the week is out, because I'm frankly sick of having to reboot the router by pulling the power cable out whenever I want to go on the 'net - since normal software reboots through the admin interface don't do the blindest bit of good anymore when the connection drops. It is four or five years old, so I guess I got my money's worth from it, but it is more of a source of annoyance than anything, these days.

I'm also toying with the idea of acquiring a new laptop. Medion are selling some corking laptops for £499 these days, which is about the budget I'm looking at. I don't want anything too fancy - just something that's wireless enabled, with a dual core CPU and dedicated graphics that will give me a decent framerate on WoW whenever I can't get to my games rig - and also something I can use for word processing and the like when I'm on the move. My old xubuntu laptop is fine for bog standard surfing and writing, but it's so slow, I'm probably going to reformat it and use it with a really old operating system (Win95 or 98) as a retro gaming platform - that's if I keep it at all, since the battery is pretty badly shot.

The final possibility to sooth my tech-buying urge is a 360 Elite, since my buddy Charles put Xbox Media Centre on my trusty old Xbrick, turning it from an aging games console into an all-singing, all-dancing upscaling DVD player and an aging games console that now outputs game video in 720p... meaning that not only do all my Xbox games look pretty awesome now, but also that I can get rid of my old cheapo DVD player, which I bought from ASDA for less than £30 six years ago, freeing up space in the TV cabinet for another console. And I do really want to get my hands on Project Gotham 4 and Mass Effect (though I might see what the reviews of the PC version are like before splashing out on that).

But decisions, decisions... which to buy? Oh, it's torment, I tells ya. Though not quite as bad as being stone cold broke and not having anything to spend at all, naturally - and no, I'm not giving you the money to spend instead. NOT HAPPENING...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bark: And the Award for The Most Disturbing News Story of 2008 goes to...

...The Kansas City Star!

Thanks to Richard for the link. I think...

Byte: Progress

As I predicted last week, my WoW-wiles have shifted focus and lured me away from my new Rogue and back to my primary Alt, Yonn. He's now (relatively speaking) within sight of Outland, as I've put four levels on him in the last week, and with another few evening's work, will get beyond level 50, after which the progression up to level 58 (and Outland) is surprisingly swift, thanks to the huge amount of places in which a level 50+ character can effectively quest: Azshara, Un'Goro Crater, Blasted Lands, Felwood, Western Plaguelands and the Burning Steppes... you're positively spoilt for choice once you reach level 50.

Luckily, this week I've pretty much been left to my own devices, as Fleur is away on the second half of a school exchange, back in her native France, so I've invested a few evenings getting Yonn up to the level 50 mark and beyond. Corleth, my new rogue, is still progressing quite nicely, however, as he's now able to use poisons, and got a nice weapon drop at the weekend, that will help up his damage-per-second to more useful levels. But now that Yonn is also progressing nicely to the more interesting zones in Azeroth, I may leave Corleth languishing with my other three mid-20s Alts, to gain a full level of 'Rested' state (i.e. double XP for mob kills), so he can rush through a couple of levels even quicker. Levels 20 to 30 are really kind of where you make or break a character. I didn't find them a problem for my Druid or Hunter, and I imagine that it will be okay with the Rogue thanks to being able to Sneak (plus I'm doing pretty well with a Mage, purely due to sheer spellpower), but the 20-30 quests for Alliance characters are really pretty sucky. It's not much better with the 30-40 stretch, either, given that you've either got to make a choice between the gank-fest that is Stranglethorn Vale, or the utter boredom of Desolace, but post-level 40, the game really opens up and the grind doesn't get to you so much any more (if for nothing else than the design of the zones; if you've never seen Un'goro Crater for example, visually, it's a treat). It's just a shame that they make you wait the best part of 100 hours (or more) before things start to get really interesting (barring the first flush of love you get in those first 20 levels).

I can't really see myself playing much else at the moment, barring the odd foray into the equally divine Audiosurf, even though I did pick up Sins of a Solar Empire from the Stardock site last Friday. It's reviewed rather well and does look good, but I'm mildly intimidated by how complicated it looks. Five or ten years ago I would have eaten up that complexity like the Cookie Monster faced with a pack of Oreos, but these days, being the time-pressed, high-stressed professional that I am, my tastes are veering more towards the so-called "casual" side. That might seem like quite an odd statement coming from someone who's put over one thousand hours in to World of Warcraft over the last three years (and that's a fairly conservative estimate), given that MMORPGs especially have a "hardcore" reputation.

"Casual" appears to be a bit of a dirty word for gamers these days: if a game is appealing to an audience of people who don't normally play videogames, somehow it's not worthy of the classification. I think this is snobbery of the basest order, and it all stems from the mass marketability and appeal of The Sims, which has become a poster boy for the casual-hating gamers, when in fact, it's arguably the best game of the last ten years. Though again, arguably, it's not even a game, but rather a toy, so therefore the self-labelled "hardcore" dismiss it out of hand, because a game can be "adult" whereas a toy "is for kids"*. It's all a part of this contemptible rush to apply labels to everything, so that they can be neatly categorised and pigeonholed by people too lazy or too stupid to do any real analysis and gain a proper understanding or insight.

What's wrong with people playing casual videogames in the same way most "hardcore" gamers would watch TV? You don't have to do something obsessively for thirty or forty hours a week to gain enjoyment or value from it - the notion that 'unless you're playing games for fifty hours a week, you're not a gamer' is faintly ridiculous, and frankly is the type of attitude that puts people off playing videogames in the first place. Rather than sneering at people who don't play immediately on the hardest difficulty, the "hardcore" should instead try and remember why they started playing games in the first place: to have fun. The problem with the people who label themselves "hardcore" is that they've turned gaming into work. WoW is a pretty good example of this: I consider myself to be an atypical WoW player, because I don't really give a damn about reaching the level cap. I'm more enamoured with the journey of getting there. I don't really care too much about the high-end game at level 70, raiding, instances and PvP. This is in complete contrast to people who rush to the level cap in a quarter of the time it would take me and spend thirty hours a week in the battlegrounds to get enough honour for the Epic armour items. They think this makes them a "better" player. Piffle, I say. It just makes you more committed, and turns what should be fun into a joyless grind, chasing higher numbers. Fun should be fun, not like a second job...


* While we're on the subject, when did the word "toy" become a pejorative term? You "play" with toys just as you "play" with games, so why are games "good" while toys are "bad"? It seems to stem from the misconception that adults don't (or can't) play with toys. Again, this is a ludicrous attitude. Of course adults have toys - they just don't like the label (unless it's a "sex toy"). When you see a guy about to have his mid-life crisis go out and buy a Caterham 7 or Aston Martin DB9, it's not because he needs a new car, it's because he needs a toy to play with. It's just one heck of a lot more an expensive a toy than the plastic Optimus Prime or Millennium Falcon you prized as a kid.

Toys are fundamentally important to the way in which a person develops skills (hand-eye co-ordination, spacial perception, analytical faculties, etc) - and also their personality; have you noticed that people who didn't play with toys as kids are the most sour, humourless bastards you've ever met in your life? There's no unwritten life rule that has to say you've got to stop playing with toys the moment you pass your 13th birthday. So I'm going to make a distinction and apply a couple of contemptible labels of my own, because people seem to like that kind of thing: if a computer game has no specific objective and is designed to be played alone, I'm going to call it a videotoy - because, like The Sims, that's what it is. A videogame is something with a competitive or social element, or where the rules of play are more formalised or explicit, such as an RPG or an online shooter, like Unreal Tournament. I'm sure a lot of people won't like the idea. but that's what you get when people develop more hang-ups about labels than a Parisian fashion boutique...

There's something very broken about a society which can look down on things that are meant to give people enjoyment and pleasure. What difference does it make whether you play with a toy or a game? Both are equally pleasurable and equally valuable, and lest we forget...

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Bark/Byte: The Best Thing About Thursdays

...isn't that there's only two more days to go until the weekend and FREEDOM. That's good, but it's not quite as good as realising it's Thursday and you forgot to watch the latest Zero Punctuation that came out yesterday. Again. This week, Devil May Cry 4, and it's one of Yahtzee's better recent efforts.

In other news, I took advantage of the fact that I managed to give myself some kind of food poisoning (doubly ironic, considering that I picked up a copy of The Book of Poisons in Foyles last Saturday) on Tuesday night to spend most of yesterday in bed, feeling pretty sorry for myself and generally miserable. This would not normally be considered to be a good thing, but all the fever dreams I was having inspired an idea for a possible short story or novella I'm going to write. I even made a start on it and wrote the introduction and the first few hundred words of chapter one.

It will, of course, be utterly rubbish and will doubtless never see the light of day, but I am determined that for once I shall at least finish writing the story. I'm not going to go into too many details about the story here, lest someone nicks my idea and does it a whole lot better, but the general premise is a political satire, crossed with a modern world fantasy. I'm not going to say more than that, because knowing me, it probably won't get finished, despite having the best of intentions. I'll probably need a lot of people badgering me to keep writing if I ever want to finish it, but at least the seed has been planted. Whether it will grow is another matter entirely. Stylistically, it's probably going to owe a lot to people like Kurt Vonnegut (in my bed-ridden state, I also took the time to devour Cat's Cradle yesterday, too), Will Self and J.G. Ballard, which is possibly reflective of my utterly cynical view of the Human Race and the world in which we live. If I do get around to finishing it, well, let's just say you shouldn't expect a happy ending...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Byte: Folly



We've all been there... I'm so glad I cultivated enough apathy to stop doing this.

Byte: Dethroned

I think other people are starting to get wise to the fact that if you want to stand a chance of topping the Global charts on Audiosurf, you have to play with the Casual characters, because I've had half a dozen "Dethroned!" emails from the Audiosurf scoreboards in the last two days alone... In one way I'm pleased, because it means that people are playing the game - and that's good, because it really is one of the best things to hit the PC since, well... ever; though I will be somewhat miffed if someone comes along and knocks me off the top for Anthem by Moby (and I realise by saying that, all the people reading this will now try to), because I really put a lot into this one, and a score of 200,000+ with the Casual Mono character is pretty decent going, thinks I. Seventeen hours played in the last two weeks tells you that I'm really enjoying it. I'm probably going to start playing with the Ironmode to push those Casual scores up even further, only then will I start putting time into the Pro and Elite difficulties, which I have played with, I'm just still at the stage where I'm playing to enjoy the ride, rather than chase high scores for the sake of chasing high scores. If you're still a bit fuzzy on the whole concept of Audiosurf, it's probably best if you go to youtube and find a song you like in the list, sit back and enjoy. I do find it mildly worrying that people are Audiosurfing Rick Astley, but a bit of Franz Ferdinand works well, though.

In other gaming news, in lieu of any other decent RPGs out there at the moment, I'm plugging yet more of my life into WoW. I rolled a Rogue a few days ago, and we're getting on quite well. Eighteen levels in as many hours, mainly gained yesterday, as I was off work and didn't have anything better to do. I originally wanted a Rogue to open all those damned Eternium Lockboxes my main has stashed in the bank, but then I found out that the Rogue's Lockpicking skill is tied to their level, so it's going to take a very long time to get up to the skill level required to open the bloody things. Still, some of them have been in the bank for more than a year, so I guess they can wait another year...

I'm beginning to understand why people like playing with Rogues, though - they're desperately overpowered, even more so than a Druid in Dire Bear form. Two mobs at your character level are no problem at all: sneak in, Sap one to stun them for twenty-odd seconds, then garotte and hack the other one to death. By the time you've killed the first mob, you should still have a couple of seconds to get ready for the other one. They're pretty good fun. Also, the Sneak ability, like the Druid's Prowl in Cat form, is fantastic for avoiding getting mobbed by multiple enemies, particularly if they're a level or two above you. I think it will be a bit of a race to see who gets to Outland first: my new Rogue Corleth, or my long-term primary alt, Yonn - a Hunter now up to the heady heights of level 46. With a full 28 level head-start, you'd think Yonn would be a shoe-in, but this is my playing process we're talking about here. My brain does not always opt to do the rational thing... I'm betting that the tricky 20-30 spell is going to be a whole lot easier (not to mention quicker) when I can sneak around and take people's heads off with Garotte or nail half their hitpoints with a sneak Ambush... and having spent most of my time with my Druid in Cat form, it's not like I'm not already familiar with the Rogue playing style. So it's going to be a fairly close run thing, I would think. Though I'll probably change my mind in a couple of weeks and rush Yonn through to level 58 so I can replay Outland... My brain's like a Chaos Generator sometimes.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Byte: Spam, spam, spam, spam

I'd like to make a little announcement for all those people sending me the Natwest Online Banking phishing scam emails...

I DON'T BANK WITH NATWEST, YOU IMBECILES.