Tag Archive for Boat

I’m on a Boat

I'm on a boat.

Everybody look at me 'cause I'm sailing on a boat.

I always hated Thousand Needles because the race track was just so stupid.  Some people think Cataclysm has done a lot wrong with World of Warcraft, but look at me… I’m on a boat.

The last time I wrote about my worgen it was over here, January 14th and I’d just made my way out of the starter zone which left me at level 12 or 13, I forget.  Maybe it was 14.  Doesn’t matter.  What matters is that as of last weekend, just five weeks later, I’m level 47.  Sure, you say, “Five weeks?! Why aren’t you at, like, 70?” but keep in mind, this is 47 without really trying.  I’ve spent much more time on my rogue who doesn’t kill, and so really this is level 47 in a total of 72 hours played.  And at least half of that is standing around chatting with people, role playing and browsing the auction house.  I’ve made it to level 47, heard the DING! of a level gained 46 times and I feel absolutely no sense of accomplishment whatsoever.  Every time the rogue makes a level I feel like I’ve conquered something, like I’ve crested another hill.  With the worgen, it’s more like, “Shit… I leveled again?  Didn’t I just level like twenty minutes ago?  Well, fuck, all my quests are green, and where did all the exclamation points go?  Did I outlevel another quest hub before I finished it?”  I feel like I’m missing the game, like I’m being pushed toward some end game, hurried along so that I don’t have a chance to get bored or to notice whether or not I’m actually enjoying playing.

In a few levels I won’t have anything left worthwhile in Thousand Needles.  The kills will be trivial, and the quests will be all gone, and the only real herb here is Stranglekelp, which gains me no skill and people aren’t even paying much for these days, but I suspect that I’ll return here because it’s the only place my River Boat works.  And ultimately this is where my biggest conflict with WoW comes in… there are some really cool and awesome places in this world, and you don’t get to stay there.  Why can’t I spend my days on the river fighting pirates and monsters?  I mean, I suppose I could, but the game doesn’t support it.  There are daily quests for fishing and cooking and other things, but why doesn’t each quest hub have a couple of dailies to making hanging around even mildly interesting and rewarding?

Not to go off on a tangent, but face it – this entire post is a tangent (a nice Friday sojourn off into rant land), but with the advent of the daily quest, why isn’t this mechanic used everywhere?  We all know that killing monsters is a pointless pursuit in WoW, they’ve hamstrung the exp on them so much, and quests are where the action is, and daily quest exp scales with level, so why not have a handful of quests in every hub where you can get one or two a day and continue to level doing whatever the hell you want?

No.  Instead, I have to make yet another zone useless and leave it to probably never return.  The empty husk of a world that necessitated The Cataclysm in the first place.

Oh well, at least for now… I’m on a boat.

Dying of the Light, and Fevre Dream

I’ve been a fan of George R.R. Martin for a long time, ever since I picked up the first of the Wild Cards books that he edited and managed. A couple years ago I picked up A Game of Thrones, the first of his ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series, and was simply amazed.

Thanks in part to his success with the Ice and Fire books, they have reprinted some of his earlier novels. I’ve just read two of them, ‘Dying of the Light’ and ‘Fevre Dream’, and both of them are very good.

Dying of the Light takes place on a rogue planet, Worlorn. When this frozen planet was found to have a path near a grouping of stars that would thaw it out, the planets of the fringe decided to have a festival. They set up 14 cities, and for ten years, five approaching the stars and five moving away, they held this festival. Now, seven years past the festival, the planet is closing on being too far from the stars. The light is fading, and the world is growing cold. This is where Dirk comes to find Gwen, an old flame, who has sent him a message for help. Abandoned by most of the worlds after the festival, Worlorn is now the residence of a few hundred people who didn’t wish to leave, and Gwen and her team studying the interactions of the plants and animals brought to Worlorn that should have never met. Gwen has a new man in her life, two of them in fact, and they belong to a culture that is steeped in tradition. And its the traditions of those people, the Kavalars, that pushed them all down a dark path.

I have to say that I was wary of the book at first. I love sci-fi films, but sci-fi books have often left me cold. Some times this book was a bear to read, trying to keep in mind all the alien terms used throughout and trying to understand them all by their context. In the end though, I did enjoy it very much. It was a good read.

Fevre Dream was altogether different. If someone had slapped the book in my hands and said I would enjoy this book about Steamboats on the Mississippi, I’d have called them a liar. But George has put together quite an excellent novel. The story is of a river boat captain, Abner Marsh, who’s had a string of bad luck, resulting in all but one of his boats being destroyed. He’s approached by a strange man who offers to pay to build the best boat on the river, all Abner has to do is take him on as a partner and never question his bizarre habits. So begins the friendship of Abner and Joshua York, a man who sleeps by day, lives by night, and has a fondness for a wine of his own private stock… a vampire.

Martin’s take on vampires in this book is very interesting, and his characterization of Marsh and the rest of his crew is fantastic. And without ruining it, this book is home to one the most fascinating and yet slowest chase scenes I’ve ever read. I devoured this book much more quickly that I expected, and in the end I wanted to hear more, even though there was no more to tell. I highly recommend it to just about anyone.