A couple of you have been asking me for a proper review of Red Dead Redemption, but the truth is I was too busy playing it until two nights ago to be bothered with it. That, and my day job has been keeping me really busy. I finally beat it (yes, even to the real ending, which I rather regret) after getting Legend of the West and virtually all of the outfits. As of the final shot, I think my completion rate for the game stood at 95%, which ain’t too bad at all, I reckon. (Also, Legend of the West was hard as hell–dude, where’s a trophy?)
Anyway, I expected that would be my post for the day, but when I arrived at work this morning I noticed that there was a big, bad message that my Gmail account had been accessed from China. After fighting off a heart attack for a couple of seconds, I went about changing my passwords, making sure nothing had been pulled from my bank account, and then pondering exactly what had happened. The rest of the day went on as normal.
Above: Taken in 2006, back when Naxxramas was actually hard.
Still, the loss of my mage hit me hard in the gut. Unlike most players, I’ve played the exact same character since November 23, 2004–the very first day WoW was released. I started out as a human mage on Alleria, and spent most of my time as such until a decision I made on a whim to become a gnome right before I quit. In his day, my mage was easily one of the best PVE mages on the server (possibly the world, for that matter, as a result of being in a high-profile guild). Back when we had the PVP ranking system, I had the Knight-Champion rank (which I actually planned, knowing they would be removing the titles). I met many of my gamer friends that I know in real life through him. By the time I quit, I had finally mastered the art of making money in the game and had kind of become a hardcore auctioneer while I raked in the dough with alchemy and jewelcrafting. I was playing my mage when you could still raid Scholomance, and I’d seen the opening of Icecrown Citadel. In short, it was a very long WoW career. So proud was I of my character that I even had a FigurePrint made (although I now wish I’d been wearing a different set). More can be read here.
Part of me is happy it’s over and that the temptation’s gone forever, but some WoW friends have informed me that it’s still possible to get my account back if I just keep bugging Blizzard. At this point, however, I think it may be best to let sleeping mages lie.
Since I’m talking, I might as well add that I’m heading to Paris Friday morning, so I’ll be disappearing for a week. We’ll be staying at a very nice hotel on the Place du Panthéon in the Latin Quarter, and much of my trip will be spent seeing medieval landmarks that I’ve always wanted to see, ranging from the Musée de Cluny and the Basilica de Saint-Denis to, of course, Notre Dame and Sainte-Chappelle. I wanted to make the trip out to Mont Saint-Michel (which the hardcore nerds out there will recognize as the inspiration for Minas Tirith in the Lord of the Rings movies), but I don’t think we want to spent so long on a train. Instead we’ll be going to Provins, a charming medieval town that was the host of many genuine medieval fairs. They’ve taken the idea and run with it, and you can see several reenactments under the shadow of the best-preserved medieval walls in Europe. Unfortunately, we’ll arrive a weekend too soon for the giant festival.
When I get back, expect a few travel articles on Paris! This will also be an excellent time to jump start my photography, which I’ve let fall by the wayside lately.
Above: Shameless self-promotion.