I was rummaging around through my collection of MMO screenshots tonight and had an odd thought: most of my toons have been, y’know, pretty cool looking. I know, I know what your thinking (“but Gordon your awesome and just ooze fashion from every pore so why is this at all surprising to you?”) and yeah, you might be right, but I’m a humble chap and never really considered it before. I just kinda figured my avatars were all plain and dull and never actually appreciated their aesthetic appeal or innate Fonzy-esque style before. But scrolling through all those folders has revealed a few hidden gems of kitsch, unashamed masculine beauty.
Archive for 2010
When I were a lad the first book I read that really got me into the fantasy genre was Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. Until then I pretty much only read trashy sci-fi based on Aliens and Predator, Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Star Trek and Star Wars, throw away novels that tantalised me with tales of my favourite characters but didn’t offer much (in most cases anyway) of an epic storyline. Being introduced to the Wheel of Time saga changed all of that though and gripped me in a way that my previous reading material never did. It set me up on my long road of progression to become an avid reader of “mature” novels (as in “grown up”, not as in “adult”) and over the next seven years I lapped up nine of the WoT volumes (until eventually the gaps between releases became so great that I forgot everything that happened and gave up).
I can’t decide if I like being “unique” or if I’m just a bit of a masochist but I’ve always had a thing for the underdog classes in MMOs. Even though it was absolutely craptastic I adored and vehemently defended the Berserker in the original Everquest and found myself wandering between the underdog tanks of EQ2. As soon as a class got nerfed I’d be on like it a fat boy onto cake and I flip-flopped between the Guardian and Berserker so often I should’ve got a medal for it. WoW is pretty well balanced but I still find myself shunning away from the popular classes like Paladins or Death Knights in favor of the plain ol’, often underestimated and underappreciated, Warrior. Even in EVE, which doesn’t even have the concept of classes, I find myself drawn to the peculiar skill combinations rather than the traditional ones.
Halloween happens to be a particularly uninteresting holiday here in the UK and passes by mainly unnoticed except for all of the Simpson Halloween specials that get aired on TV and a few laughs to be had at the expense of crazy drunk people in bizarre costumes. Trick-or-treating is non-existent as I suspect, just like I do, most people hide from any trick-or-treaters that happen by and won’t answer the door to them. It’s all very odd considering Wikipedia describes Halloween as annual holiday specifically observed in Scotland. Uh huh. Fact: The one and only time I ever had trick-or-treaters the kids asked for money instead of sweets. Little bastards.
Anyway, if that intro paragraph hasn’t completely killed your holiday spirit, happy Halloween everyone!
This is not a hoax. This is not a dream. This is fact. Hot on the heals of this week’s preview event, Codemasters have finally announced that Lord of the Rings Online will go Free-2-Play in Europe on Tuesday, 2nd November (2010 in case anyone is suffering from cynical doubt). Finally. Us Europeans may not be the fastest with gaming distribution or have the best games web sites or, heck, even have polite customer service but we do eventually get their in the end.
What do you get when you cross a one year old game, a dwindling player population and a current trend to reinvigorate revenue through an alternative payment model? A Free-2-Play MMO! Yes, that rather catty but nonetheless accurate statement (oh I’m such a bitch aren’t I?) was brought to you by the news that Champions Online is following the recent paths of DDO, LOTRO and EQ2 and going F2P.
It’s a bit of a funny time for the MMOs I’m interested in right now. Lord of the Rings Online is on ice for me until the F2P version launches in Europe, EVE is always tempting but I’m kinda holding out for a new face as promised with Incursion and, of course, WoW has Cataclysm looming over it. It feels like I’m caught up in the lull before the storm, a moment of peaceful calm before all hell (or rather excitement) breaks loose again. Or to put it another way, it almost feels like there’s no point in playing any of these games right now.