WoW Token: How I love Thee

2841775-wowtokens

A few years ago, Diablo 3 introduced real world auctions. This feature allowed players to use real money to buy in-game items like: weapons, armor, and even in-game currency. Things were going great at first, I even made like $50 in total off it, but that was over several months! The main problem with the real world auction system was that very little people actually bought in-game items with real money. I can’t say I blamed them. Diablo 3, while a fun game, just doesn’t have enough content for spending real money on items. While in some ways it’s starting to become more like Warcraft, it’s still very limited in terms of content. That’s not a criticism, the game is good for what it does, it’s just that spending real money to buy stuff that will be replaced quickly doesn’t make much sense.

Real world auctions were eventually scrapped (even the regular auction house that was in-game currency only) and honestly I don’t think anyone really misses it. The only sad thing is my dream of making a living off selling Diablo 3 stuff died. ūüė¶ Haha! It seemed like the grand experiment Blizzard set up had failed, but some wondered, including me, if World of Warcraft would get a similar system set up in the future. After all, there have always been people buying and selling Diablo 2 items illegally, and I’m sure it happens in Warcraft. At least, it does with gold sellers!

Several weeks ago, Blizzard announced the WoW Token. Essentially, it’s a way to buy WoW gold legally, and without the risk of buying from 3rd party sellers. It’s great for casual gamers who do not have the time or patience to earn gold in the game. It’s also great for gamers like me, who don’t have a job, and can’t pay for a subscription! Like the image shows, one person buys the token from the battle.net shop and puts the token on sale in the in-game auction. Players can then buy the token with in-game gold, and use the token to extend their subscription. For some, this means you can now play WoW for free! The catch is that you have to be able to make enough gold to buy the token. Right now on my server the price is sticking around 32,000 gold. Not too hard to make in a month, so if it sticks around that price, I’ll be fine. Also, people with inactive accounts can buy the token and get back into the game, provided that they have enough gold.

I think most WoW gamers so far are fine with this new addition, either they don’t think¬†it will ¬†have a negative effect on the economy in their server, or they are happy to be able to get more gold or free play time. Once you buy to token in-game, it’s locked to that character. You can’t resell it, and you have to use it. That helps prevent gouging. Finally, the WoW tokens are sever-wide, which means the tokens are sold from one place and are not server specific. You are competing with people from all the servers to get a token!

I was able to buy a token with in-game currency yesterday and I’m already selling game items I find or make, so that I can by another token. I think I’ll be able to buy one at least once a month, but you can buy multiples of tokens. I think the limit is 10 at once. That means that I can buy several if possible and activate them if I wish. I may never have to play-to-play again! As of now, the token is almost 10,000 gold cheaper than when I bought one! Looks like the supply is going up!

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The Fight Heard Round the Call of Duty

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am about to share something that may seem strange to write about on my blog, but I feel like I need to share it. Last night while I was playing Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, a girlfriend and boyfriend began fighting and everyone in the room heard it. Yes, I was hunting down some bad guy in an online multiplayer match and all of a sudden some guy starts yelling and a verbal fight ensues. The girlfriend sounded pretty surprised.

Basically, the boyfriend was told by one of his guy friends that his girlfriend was dancing with a man at a club. I get the feeling she had recently been with her friends at a dance club, discotech, or whatever you young kids call them these days! Anyway, the boyfriend was pretty upset, so I imagine that he believed his girlfriend was dancing in an inappropriate way with this guy at the club. To be fair, she denied any wrong doing the whole time and said she had been dancing with her girlfriends. The girlfriend also claimed that the guy who claimed to see her dancing with a guy at the club was telling lies in order to break up other couples, because he was jealous of them and didn’t like being single. She claimed the guy tried to break up another couple, giving their names. I’d call it, “if I can’t have a girlfriend, no one can” kind of attitude. It may seem farfetched, but I there are weirdos out there.

At first, it was really annoying. Here I am trying to get to prestige level 4 and now I have to endure this fight between two people, probably around their early 20s. But, after a while, I started becoming invested in the relationship when ¬†she asked him, “Don’t you trust me?” I began to feel sorry for her. To me he was¬†complaining about something that seemed overboard. So what if she had been dancing with another guy? Though I wouldn’t appreciate it if my girlfriend had been dancing with another guy doing sexy movies, I still wouldn’t have acted the way the boyfriend did. The mature thing was to calmly talk about it and give her the benefit of the doubt. Based on her reactions, she seemed genuinely surprised at his accusations. How does he know she was NOT dancing with her girlfriends instead of some random dude? He trusted his guy friend more than his girlfriend, which seemed strange to me.

The more the fight went on, the more defensive she got and I didn’t get the impression that she was being dishonest. She was either being honest or was a really good actor. I felt like speaking up and saying something, but I wasn’t using my mic, rarely do I actually use it. Besides, it wouldn’t have been appropriate to intervene, it wasn’t any of my business and¬†yet everyone in the game could hear it. It was like we were apart of their fight. I wonder what the other gamers were thinking? I don’t think anyone was using a mic. If I had to venture a guess, I’d say he is a jealous type and even may have some trust issues. It’s difficult to say for sure since I don’t know them nor do I have any context of their relationship. Maybe she is a liar and has cheated before or maybe he’s just a big jerk. I know if I was the boyfriend I’d at least consider her side of the story. He was intent on believing his friend over her and was upset that she wouldn’t admit to any wrong doing. Well, what if she didn’t do anything wrong?

Thankfully, it sounded like just a verbal fighting match and there wasn’t anything physical going on as far as I could tell. I’d wager that things would cool down and maybe he’d come to his senses. I guess you can tell that I’m on her side! What was scary for me was had there been any domestic abuse, I would have been helpless to stop it. Even if I had my mic on, there’s not really anything I could say to stop it. Had I checked to see which PS3 account was hooked up to the mic, I may not have been able to tell if it was the girl’s or the guy’s. Sending a text message might have been inappropriate and it’s not like I can call 911 and tell them some guy is beating his girlfriend on Call of Duty.

The fight ended and whoever was playing shut off the game. This was all happening around 11:00pm. What would happen next? Ultimately, the realization was that I could do nothing to help, though I wish I could have. It was such a strange experience, it was like I was a researcher observing a couple in a science experiment. I wanted the boyfriend to believe is girlfriend, I was rooting for her. I hope things turned out ok for them. Maybe she will dump this guy, if he can’t trust her, why be with him? Or maybe after calming down he will realise that he overreacted. Then again, maybe he was right all along and he is going to move on. Who knows?

I guess you just never know what’s going to happen when you are playing an online video game late at night.

 

Too Much Writing A Bad Thing?

Writing can be a very¬†lengthy¬†process, especially when writing a novel. Your average novel will probably be around 50,000 to 80,000 words give or take. However, that changes when you write fantasy, which can easily go¬†beyond¬†100,000 words. I believe that you write until the story is finished. Length shouldn’t be something you consider until after the first draft is complete. Then you can usually cut down on length. With my current medieval fantasy series, I know I’m going to go¬†beyond¬†my normal length. I like to stay close to 70,000 words. It’s just more difficult to write an epic story around that length. I wonder what fantasy fans think about this?

Look at the Lord of the Rings films, three long epic films. Now it’s not the same as a novel, but I think fans can appreciated a long story when it comes to fantasy. Don’t forget about Final Fantasy games! They were usually pretty long and in fact some of them can take up to 60 hours to complete!¬†I read about a writer working on a fantasy novel that is around 150,000 words! He’s¬†hard pressed¬†to cut it down, but the agent he submitted to want’s him to cut the novel down to a smaller size. I’m not going to get to that length. However, I don’t see a problem with a long book if it is exciting and a good read.

Understandably, no one wants to read a 100,000 plus novel that drags on and on or doesn’t reach the reader. It’s like reading a textbook. Some are easy reads, because the content is interesting and the author(s) are talented writers. If you have ever read a textbook¬†written¬†by scientists, you may find yourself yawning over and over again. Psychology is a bit different, thankfully, most psychologists are decent writers. Of course, it is a subject that I’m studying in school, so perhaps I am a bit biased!

One of the biggest barriers people have when writing novels is getting enough length. I’ve finished a rough draft only to find that it is much shorter than anticipated. It can also be difficult to sit down every day and write for a few hours. You have to get that novel finished somehow! Thankfully my current project has kept my attention enough that I haven’t hit my usual slump. I think in part it is the genre. I’m writing the novel in parts, seven short stories, which have a beginning, middle, and end. It’s a literary¬†experiment¬†and so far I like it. I’d suggest you try it if you find that writing a novel is too difficult.

I’ve written short stories before and I do like the fact that it is a shorter process. It’s also easier for editing too. You can write a series of short stories that are connected, then when you are finished with the last one, combine them into one novel. It’s an idea I had several months ago and¬†I¬†decided to try it. Once I finish this series, however, I may go back to writing the full novel if I make a¬†sequel¬†instead of the short story series. I find that a lack of hitting a slump might inspire me to write a full length novel instead. I’m also finding that I don’t want to stop after I finish writing each story. I want to continue to the next story, rather than editing the one I just completed. Hopefully that means that I’m writing a story that people will like to read!

I consider the best advice on what to write is to write what you would want to read. After all, there are likely others that share your own tastes (hopefully). You can’t please everyone, so why not at least write something that you are happy with and enjoy. Hopefully it won’t be a 100,000 plus snooze fest!