QQ, Minstrel Boy

July 20, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Posted in General | 3 Comments
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Wotcha everyone,

Via Spinksville (thanks, Spinks), I find this lovely bit of information from Casual Stroll to Mordor.

Read it?  Well, that thumping sound you can hear is me applying my head to the desk repeatedly, *with force*.

I’m stopping now, because it’s interfering with my typing.  And I have head hurty.  Instead of attempting to mash the front of my head into the desk, I shall show my disappointment by crying Real Man Tears(tm) into my keyboard.

And I am disappointed.  It’s as if someone at Turbine has tapped into the Hawley brain-wave frequency, taken notes of all the really lovely things that I love about Lord of the Rings Online, and then decided to destroy them, one by one.

Mysterious Shadowy Turbine Employee: are you my Nemesis?

I may not like addons overmuch, but I use them in World of Warcraft.  As players we’re not stupid; if it gives an advantage, if it leads to a perceived increase in effectiveness (and/or enjoyment) we’ll use it (damage meters might be the sulphurus spunk of the devil, but they help dps classes by giving some form of measurable feedback about the amount of damage they’ve done).

But they can also turn playing games into a playing a decidedly colourful spreadsheet.  And I find that to be a real shame.  Use of a threat-meter, boss mods, and class-based addons can suck all the personal judgement out of a game.

I like to think of MMO gaming as an art, not a science.  It’s something that I’ve always thought, and it’s personal judgement that makes gaming an art.  Take away that capacity for judgement by installing an addon that makes a decision for you, or tells you when to use an ability, and you take away the player.

That’s a shame, it really is.

So Turbine’s refusal to allow addons made me happy.  All players were equal under the UI.  All our decisions were our own, and all of that meant that a success was down to our actions, our decisions, our gaming skill.

We didn’t have an addon warning us, coaching us, or bullying us through Middle Earth.

Well, until now.  QQ, minstrel boy.




July 8, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Posted in General | 1 Comment
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Wotcha everyone,

I’ve been quiet recently, but that’s because I’ve not had much to say.  It’s not writer’s block, it’s just that I’ve been pootling along quite happily, and nothing comment-worthy has reared its ugly head.  Or any other ugly anatomical parts.

So other ugly things with ugly heads decided to rear.

First ugly rising was my pc, or more specifically the ram in my pc.  It would occasionally decide to blue-screen my pc when it was doing a lot, but now it seems to like hitting me at random points when playing Fallen Earth, especially when Britain decides to be like the rest of the world, and have a warm day.

It’s annoying, but in a: “Dun die, pc!” sort of way, rather than a: “Grr!  Fallen Earth, your kung-fu is pig-dung!” sort of way.  So that would make it worrying more than annoying.

Second ugly rising is my router versus the heatwave.  My router is not a fan of the heat.  It’s a tough little fella, but even so I’ve not been able to put eggs near it for a few weeks for fear of a frying incident.  So I’ve been very wary of signing up for group activity for fear of router-implosion at the worst possible time.

Of course, this is nothing compared to the biggie.  The mighty C’thulhu of ugly risings:

My beloved G1 has died.

It’s hardly surprising, seeing as that phone has been muchly battered from day one.  It’s held all my contacts, it’s organised my social life, it’s been my constant companion.  It has survived camping out in fields, being dropped in the mud, being caught in the wind, the hail, and the odd snow-storm.  It has spent days at a stretch in constant use, and has spent more than a few occasions making speedy and close acquaintance with the floor.  With all the associated bouncing you might expect from a ‘phone-floor rapid interfacing.

Quite frankly, it has been my rock.

It has also been my way of connecting to my little slice of MMO gaming heaven, and not just because of the Fallen Earth Mobile Companion.  It’s being able to read blogs whilst out and about, check forums, and even just IM and text fellow gamers that has allowed me to keep in touch, when I should have been out of reach.

Well, that umbilical has been cut, and I am feeling it.

This is without the fact that my mobile phone also had the Blizzard Authenticator on it.  This means I can’t get into World of Warcraft until I’ve managed to get past Blizzard’s phone system and they’ve detached the authenticator from my account.  This is rather harder than it sounds.  I went through the battery on the house phone trying to get through to them.  The battery gave out before they did.

What next, for Hawley?

Well, the phone can wait a couple of days.  The internal debate for me when choosing a new mobile phone can rage for weeks, and only when I feel happy in the device I’m going to be stuck with for the next 18 moths will I decide.

The ram can wait.  The weather will pass, as will the number of worthy causes requiring huge chunks of my salary.  Come December, there will probably be new ram in the pc, and all will be well in the state of PC.

World of Warcraft will have to wait.  Unless Blizzard’s Customer Care start to.

And finally, I might well start to do more interesting things than just level characters, which will prompt actual posts.


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