This is where you can read any of my irregular wafflings about computer gaming. The whole point of this blog is to help motivate me to properly finish games, whether they be recent ones or older ones I played when I was younger that I never managed to beat.
3rd November 2014 - Mount Up
A few days back I had an email from Blizzard giving me 7 days free in World Of Warcraft. Not that I really wanted to reinstall such a big game for a few measly days, but I thought it would give me the chance to do something I wished I'd done years ago.
Now, I have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with names and characters, so much so that when I used to play WoW I even named all my mounts, including ones I hadn't even collected yet. Yes, I'm a tit. But still, I figured logging into the game again would give me chance to screenshot all those mounts, which I had forgotten to do years ago.
Now I didn't want to download all 28GB of the game on my crappy internet, so I got a head start (so I thought) and dusted off my game discs all the way up to Cataclysm. After installing those, the game went to the net to update, and I found out the game now requires the Battle.net application which manages the updates. The problem is, Battle.net wanted to download the entire game, and would not continue the install I'd already done. It just kept saying no Blizzard games could be found, and when I pointed it to my WoW folder it just said the game was the wrong version and wouldn't update it. So I had to download the damn thing anyway. Stupid Blizzard.
But it eventually happened that I logged into the game for the first time in nearly 4 years, and I'm seriously glad I had no intention of playing, as I could not remember a single thing. Even Orgrimmar seemed unfamiliar as I had only played Cataclysm for a few weeks at most, and I never got used to its changes.
I didn't really investigate any of the big changes I saw, but pretty much the only change I liked was actually the reason I had logged in in the first place - the mounts. In the years since I last played, Blizzard have added something called collections, which are available to all characters on an account. And one of these collections is the mounts. Any of the mounts any of your characters have ever unlocked are now shared to all of your other characters for them to use, provided they have the riding skill, and the mounts are not locked to a specific faction or class. To me this sounds like a great change, but I bet there were some angry people out there who had been questing and grinding for hours on different characters to get them all the best mounts multiple times, and all for nothing.
Still, none of that matters to me, and I finally got to take all my mount pictures:
Arkhan, the Black Skeletal Horse
Asurmen, the Azure Netherwing Drake
Blaze, Fingus's Felsteed
Corel, the Swift Olive Raptor
D'Argo, Ashaai's Thalassian Charger
Gelnika, the Emerald Raptor
Helo, the Blue Wind Rider
Husker, the Tawny Wind Rider
Kalm, the Violet Raptor
Kamino, the Blue Nether Ray
Karthus, Undeadbarry's Archerus Deathcharger
Keldor, the Blue Skeletal Horse
Kit, the Abyssal Seahorse
Korriban, the Red Nether Ray
Nanaki, the Swift Orange Raptor
Overbite, the White Kodo
Plagueis, the Time-Lost Proto-Drake
Ratchet, the Goblin Trike
Reno, the Turquoise Raptor
Rygel, Ashaai's Thalassian Warhorse
Scorpia, the Swift Red Wind Rider
Scowl, the Grey Kodo
Skittle, the Blue Hawkstrider
Slog, the Brown Kodo
Snakebite, the Armoured Brown Bear
Sven, the Frostwolf Howler
Tuesti, the Swift Blue Raptor
Vlad, the Red Skeletal Warhorse
28 mounts is not a lot considering how many mounts are in the game, but I worked damn hard to get some of those back in the day, so I don't care.
Not that anyone's interested, but here's how I was choosing the names for all the different kinds of mounts:
Bears = names of Warhammer 40,000 Ork clans.
Drakes (normal and Proto) = names of Sith Lords from Star Wars.
Drakes (Netherwing) = names of Warhammer 40,000 Eldar Phoenix Lords.
Hawkstriders = names of confectionery.
Horses (living) = names and places from Farscape.
Horses (Undead and demonic) = names of any other skeletal and undead characters.
Kodos = names of combiner team Transformers.
Mechanical = names of tools.
Nether Rays = planets from Star Wars.
Raptors = names and places from Final Fantasy VII.
Wind Riders = names and planets from Battlestar Galactica.
Wolves = names from the Warhammer 40,000 Space Wolf novels.
There were some strange things I noticed though being back in the game. For a start, my Paladin Ashaai seemed to have had a strange hair mishap, as gone was his white hair to be replaced by black, for some reason. So a trip to the barber's was required to correct it.
Logging into my very first character, the poor old Ally Pally Jackgooty, revealed that somehow he has about 6 gryphon mounts available to him, despite me never unlocking any gryphon mounts at all. He doesn't even have enough skill to fly them. I can only assume, as Kropotkin had unlocked a bunch of the Wind Riders, it automatically unlocks the corresponing Alliance mounts.
Most strange though is the mystery surrounding one of my brother's old Alliance characters, a Night Elf hunter called Khi. Unsurprisingly, when looking down the roster of both our Horde and Alliance guilds, no character had been logged in for years. That is, with the exception of Khi, who was logged in 8 months ago. In addition, the poor hunter's name has been altered to Khixyz. I can only assume, around 8 months ago, another player wanted the name Khi, and my bro's character was changed to allow it. However, a search for a character called Khi on that server finds no results. It's a mystery.
For the hell of it I took Gooty for a spin and did a kill quest in Hellfire Peninsula. All kinds of memories came flooding back, but overall the game is still as boring as it ever was. If it was free to play I could imagine logging in occasionally with friends, but why millions of people still pay subscription fees to play it is beyond me.
Bleaching Ashaai's hair
Gooty stretches his legs
6th April 2012 - A Look Back At World Of Warcraft
Arguably the game I've spent the most time on in my entire life is the MMORPG World Of Warcraft. I played on and off between November 2005 and January 2011, and I played pretty much exclusively with seven real life friends. While this was good in many respects, it was also very limiting, as we never really managed to all play together at a similar level range.
While I do have fond memories of the time I spent on this game, unfortunately I have become quite venomous in my feelings towards it. Yes, this is partly my own fault, as I don't think I ever got the absolute best out of the game. But overall I am glad I am now free of the endless grinding gameplay, servers almost full of complete arseholes and gold sellers, unbalanced classes and pvp, and of course those very painful monthy fees.
I've recently made a little narrative page looking back at my time playing the game, and if you want to check it out just click here