Posts Tagged ‘humour’

The Greedy Gordon

I'm a hardcore tyrant with my copper ore monolopy

I'm a hardcore tyrant with my copper ore monopoly

Now I’m no goblin but I have to admit that I’ve been enjoying my tinkering with sales and trades on the WoW Auction House a lot lately. In fact, combined with my trial of the Remote Auction House I’m turning into a bit of an amoral, gold-toothed, maniacal trader living for that adrenaline rush only red-blooded capitalism can give me. I check my iPhone frequently (must… resist… purchasing RHA… subscription), buy low, sell high and gleefully lap up the tears of the defeated. Gevlon would be proud.

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The Power Of Twitter (Twitterの新しい使い方)

My wife spotted a funny article on a Japanese website called Gadget Place that really highlights the power of Twitter and social media in the modern age. I’ve been a fan of Twitter for a long time now and thoroughly enjoy using it but I never thought it would ever help me get out of a sticky situation.

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Video Games And Freemasonry

Bet you wish you were a freemason after seeing this cool pic

Bet you wish you were a freemason after seeing this

I was quite impressed with the Scouting movement when I discovered that they’d introduced new badges related to video gaming. It definitely shows forward thinking and an understanding of the youth of today and I’ve got to commend the Scouts for finding a way to teach kids about responsible gaming.

Of course I’m too old to be a Scout any more (it would be a little creepy if I applied) but, as some readers may know, I am a Freemason which is basically the same thing as Scouting except for rich white men who control countries. However, as most lodges complain about not enough young people joining, I began pondering if Freemasonry could take a leaf out of the Scouts badge book and somehow make the whole thing more appealing to youngsters by integrating with video games.

Here are some of my ideas:

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Getting A Greed Steed Without The Guilt

Transparent saddles instill terror in pedestrian belows

Transparent saddles instill terror in pedestrians belows

Like a small spoilt child obsessed with sparkly baubles, I felt a slight tingle in the back of my neck when Blizzard announced their latest money making venture, The Greed Steed (love that name). It had wings, it was a horse, it sparkled. If only it had breasts and a machine gun it would’ve been the summation of my entire adolescent desires. Still, after forking out a staggering £9/$14 for a Panda Monk pet last year (half of that did go to charity though so technically I did a good deed… uh huh), I was resolved in my moral stance not to buy one.

Note, I said my moral stance.

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Would You Like Some Cheese With Your Whine?

Today is international Whiny Post Day. It’s also St. Patrick’s Day but considering I’m neither Irish nor American I don’t celebrate it (on a completely unrelated note, does anyone else always think about that chase scene through the New York parade from The Fugitive everytime someone mentions St. Patrick’s Day?). Anyway, since I love silly holidays (only six months until International Talk Like A Pirate Day!) I figured I’d uphold the spirit of this ancient tradition and bore you all to death with some annoying, whiny post.

Except I’ve got nothing to whine about. I mean, I’ve got plenty of genuine, bonafide complaints but they’re all about real problems in the real world that are really hard to fix. Y’know, stupid stuff like recessions and house prices and all that guff. But small niggly things I want to whine about? Not so much. I’d love to say it’s because I’m filled with a deep compassion that oozes out of me and infects all who I come in to contact with with a beautiful and gentle karma but I cant. Honestly, I think it’s just because I don’t care. Sure, there are times where I write blog posts that I worry are going to upset people or things happen in a MMORPG that tick me off but usually theses concerns melt away as I switch off my PC and settle down to watch the awesome Don Draper in Mad Men with the wife. Perspective is a wonderful thing.

Still (and I’m really stretching it here), I may have something I can whine about. Time. I just don’t have enough of the bloody thing. There’s so many things I want to do that I just can’t fit them all in. Write. Read. Blog. Game. Love. Work. Sleep. There just aren’t enough hours in the day and I find myself trying to wring every minute out of the clock like a four year old replicant from Blade Runner.

How do other people manage it? How do they manage to juggle work, families, gaming, blogging, ranting, tweeting, buzzing and everything else that tickles my geeky fancy into a single full rotation of the Earth? I try little tricks like reading in the bath, writing mental blog posts in the showing and even not washing at all but it never works and something always gives. Unfortunately right now that thing tends to be sleep but, sod it, as Bon Jovi once sang “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”. Cause I’m that hardcore.

So there you have it, my half-arsed attempt at a whiny post.

Do you have anything you want to whine about?

In fact, don’t tell me. I don’t care.


Ways To Cheat At World Of Warcraft

With all of the talk lately about buying gold, I thought it would be interesting to examine all of the different ways to potentially ‘cheat’ at World of Warcraft. Some are obvious, some less so, but all to a certain degree, to quote Wikipedia’s definition of cheating,  are “employed to create an unfair advantage, usually in one’s own interest, and often at the expense of others”.

Note that cheating and breaking Blizzard’s Terms of Use for WoW are not always the same thing.

Ways To Cheat

  • Buying gold from websites on the Internet. This is the probably the most obvious form of cheating and is allegedly linked to account hacking (I say ‘allegedly ‘ because I don’t know what the actual facts are although it does seem to be the logical conclusion). Buying gold also has social consequences too and it may cause you to be ostracized by your friends and family.
  • Purchasing characters from eBay. Another classic example of what most would consider cheating. It’s explicitly prohibited in WoW’s Terms and Conditions.
  • Buying gold from your real life friends. It doesn’t matter if you pay for it on the Internet or buy your mate a pint down in the local pub in exchange for giving you 1,000g, it’s still cheating.
  • Allowing your guild mates to give you gold. If you didn’t earn with your own character in-game, it’s technically a form of cheating, right?
  • Buying WoW TCG loot cards. I find this one particularly interesting as it’s against the T&Cs yet I honestly don’t know if it’s enforced or not.
  • Paying someone to level up your character. Not against the Terms of Use and completely legit yet still most of us would consider it cheating.
  • Being power leveled through dungeons. Not much different from paying someone else to level up your character for you and you’re skipping through content you’re not meant to.
  • Using heirloom items. Twinking is a form of cheating and interestingly enough it meets Wikipedia’s definition of it to a T. I can’t think of a better example of exploiting an unfair advantage to benefit against others, especially in PvP.

Just to be clear, I don’t condone cheating in any form and only point out these forms of cheating in WoW in hopes that you will not only do your best to avoid them but also report those your find engaging in them.

Where’s The Line?

Obviously the above list isn’t completely serious and a little tongue-in-cheek but hopefully it has made you question where the lines between cheating starts and stops. It’s seems to be a very relative subject with no clear line in the sand, making it very difficult for players to know where they stand. Hacking repercussions to one side, is it any more a form of cheating to buy gold than it is if one of your friends gave you some money to help you get started? Technically speaking, both acts are just as bad as each other but if Suzina had confessed to a friend of hers giving her 1,000g in exchange for a nice home cooked dinner or a few cans of beer, would anyone have even cared?

All in all, some food for thought. When exactly does getting a “helping hand” become cheating? And if buying gold wasn’t linked to account hacking (as it never was until quite recently) would gamers still hate it so much?


WoW Macros And Addons And How I Hate Them

I’ve been banging my head against a wall for the past week now with macros and addons in World of Warcraft. I’ve been programming for 10 years, hold a first class degree in Computer Science, and used to build levels for Doom using DCK, a DOS-based sector editor that required a degree in Astrophysics to master (I was widely considered a child prodiogy after I developed my third level) yet somehow, for the love of Tim Berners-Lee, I can’t get my bloody macros to work.

I loved the DCK book when I was 12. In fact, I got caught loving it once and was asked to leave the library.

I loved the DCK book when I was 12. In fact, I got caught loving it once and was asked to leave the library.

I keep flipping between the thought that I’m either trying to be too smart and perform actions and just aren’t possible with the macro system or that I’m a complete retard who can’t fathom the most basic of commands that even spotty 14 year olds employ to annihilate me in Battlegrounds. Is there some secret cult of Macro Magicians out there that I don’t know about who lurk in the shadows, teaching those able to find them the unholy secrets for knocking 1.2 seconds off their response time, granting them the winning edge in an already unbalanced PvP system? If so, I hope to God I can find them.

Macros in WoW are a truly silly affair. They don’t offer anything substantial and just tease us with the prospect of being able to power ourselves up and cut down the inane amount of hot keys we already have. Macros are the programming language equivalent of a lap dance – offering just enough to get us worked up but not complete enough to give us what we really want. After battling with them for a few hours I find I need to go bury myself in some real code in order to satisfy that (slightly worrying) itch.

Then, of course, on the other side of the coin come the addons. Third party scripts and bits of software designed to simplify the game to utter redundancy and ineptitude. No wonder people complain World of Warcraft is too easy. Install Tauntmaster and it will render all of your skill at tanking obsolete, turning the entire thing into a game of “click the shiny button when it turns red”. My Grandma could do that and she doesn’t even know what a shiny button is.

What happened to the purity of our games? Why can’t we just leave them be and play them as they come? I’ll tell you why (not that you were asking): auto-condimentation. We’re so used to piling on the salt and extra cheese that we forget to taste our food before we do it. And let’s not forget the concept that maybe the Chef served us the meal exactly how he wanted us to enjoy it. Macros are salt, addons are tomato ketchup and they’re ruining the fine dining of our games. And yes, I just equated World of Warcraft to fine dining, feel free to crucify me for it, I offer no excuses.

I don’t care if a macro can allow me to use a single button to switch between stances or cast the stance appropriate spell. I don’t care that addons let me see everyones threat per second or their gear score or what underwear they’re wearing. I hate them all.

P.S. Apart from QuestHelper. That one rocks.