It's just a fact that Gabriel doesn't know shit about Lakeshire, let alone the surrounding Redridge Mountains. The creatures we were after are about ten paces out of town, indeed, you can see one wave a furry paw from the hills that overlook it. Instead, we were treated to giant birds, vicious boars, baby dragons, and the war-skilled orcs of the Blood Drinker clan. What was his fucking plan, here? Was I supposed to catch them all?
By all means, join a party with the man. It's a hoot. I call it "The Graveyard Tour Of Azeroth."
I suggested in an earlier post that the game - and I'm assuming you know the one I'm talking about - changes at the higher levels into a different thing, an almost purely social experience which the mechanisms just sort of decorate. Well, that was true for my first play through the progression, but I think that I perceived the change and its import incorrectly.
Now the entire game, regardless of level, is a purely social exercise. I like what I'm doing, but I've absolutely done it before, and there's simply no denying that I've played the game seriously since about this time last year. I've poured more time into this single game that I've put into any other, and trust me: losing myself a simulated space is kind of my thing. There's a shift in higher level play toward raids and grouping, I mentioned that, and it's true enough. But the game is so secondary now that I don't know if I'm even "playing" it. I found the social interactions required by higher level play so satisfying that, coming back through the game, it is the only point.
I never understood the Everquest Meetups. I'd see those chix0r in black body paint or whatever, smiling with their mundane friends in the picture, and I'd be like "Whatever, Dara Vareel." You know what I'm saying? Take a couple points in not being such a fucking weirdo all the time. I'm certainly not going to dress as my character, as it would require a surgical procedure. But I see now that the game constitutes a highly codified series of social interactions, and over time, with sufficient play, the veil simply becomes more sheer. The game has become a room full of people.
I've spent all week finishing up the new Penny Arcade book, and it's dragged me to the edge of sanity but I think it will be worth buying. Honestly, it'll be like thirteen bucks or something, so it won't be a terrible inconvenience. It will include the first two years' worth of comics, gripping commentary that runs throughout, a serious introduction, a friendly introduction, and The Webcomics Manifesto, which I believe will have the intended effect.