Thursday, 29 September 2011

[GW2]The Flow of Gold

I don't know about you, but in Guild Wars recently I've become somewhat tight-fisted. My arms have most definitely become shorter whilst my pockets have become considerably deeper. I cling onto my coffers of platinum like a wizened old miser and am loathed to shell out for even a salvage kit or lockpick if I can really avoid it.

Currency is a necessary thing in online games, it adds "value" to items so that they might be traded for other items of equal "value". If a developer doesn't implement a currency system you could be damn sure that the player base would soon create one (Ectos being a perfect example). As time goes on and I set my sights higher and higher the monetary demands upon my bank become greater and greater. I know it's a long slog to attain the kind of wealth I'm going to need to buy the Party Animal title so every single penny which is wasted buying ID kits and salvage bags hurts like a bitch.

I'm hoping that Guild Wars 2 will engender a much more laid-back approach to accountancy in my playstyle. Rewards for dynamic events pop up in the corner, glow and glint for a bit and then disappear into your inventory. You could be ranging through the undergrowth and encounter 10 different events and complete them each (probably obtaining different levels of participation depending upon the effort you put in) and with each one completed the little notice would shine in the top right hand corner showing exp, karma, and coins earned. It seems so blasè:  
"Oh, those coins? Oh yeah, I got them for killing those undead or something. I dunno man, I was busy, I had a whole pack of kvedulf to deal with".

The money flows out just as easily; the travel costs a few coins here and there and I can't imagine it becoming an issue that it costs a little bit of dough to travel from one side of the map to the other.  
"But it's 1 silver and 36 copper, Marjorie! It's not the cost, it's the PRINCIPLE of the thing." 
 "Sigh, just pay the man, Arthur, christ - have you checked your account recently?"

I'm not saying that it's going to be very easy to make money in the game, just that I get the feeling that the flow of money will be far more dynamic with the introduction of the marketplace, minigames and minor monetary transactions for travel, mail etc. I'm sincerely hoping that in 5 years time, when GW3 is just on the horizon I'm not sitting on the wall at Lion's Arch saying:
"Nope, not getting down. No! Have you seen the price of the travel to Divinity's Reach? 2 SILVER! 2!! I've got a party title to fund, you know?"

Monday, 26 September 2011

Making Personal Things

"Creating something personal, even of moderate quality, has a different kind of appeal to consuming something made by others, even of a high quality."
Clay Shirky

I think this is what drives every hardcore RPG player.
There is something squirreled away behind our avarice for shiny items and gold, just tucked next to the pursuit of the max level and ever so slightly occluded by the compulsion to pwn n00bs is the need to create something personal. If you just wanted to pwn n00bs you could play CoD or Halo, if you just wanted shiny things you could play bejeweled, it's something more than just having the perfect THING. It's the feeling that you've built the thing, it's YOUR thing and you made it from scratch.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

[GW2] Asura Week: TMI!

Normally at about this time I would be slogging through the vast amounts of information which is spewed forth from the ANet blog-machine over the course of a race week. I did it for the human, charr, norn and sylvari weeks but I don't think my feeble bookah brain can quite handle condensing all of the information from asura week into one post. Considering that on most days we've had twice amount of information we'd usually have I think it's pretty understandable that I've taken the weedy way out and decided not to tackle the whole hog all at once.

So, instead I'm going to tease out the 5 most interesting, funny and compelling reasons to absolutely love the asura. Take them or leave them, you can't deny that our tiniest Tyrians are a lively bunch and have certainly stolen a lot of people's attention. So, in no particular order:

1. The way they move.

2. They have shiny inner ears.

3. They are condescending buggers at times.

4. They're attracted to... weird things
 “Come on, Dlixx. You know full well it’s every asura for herself down here.” She took a winsome step toward him, and he could smell the intoxicating aroma of fuel oil and particulate ozone. “I could take you with me, if you like. We were on the same krewe, after all.”

5. They aren't ALL golemancers.

All in all, I'd say that the whole week (well, in fact, the whole period since the start of Gamescom all those weeks ago) has been a roaring success. So much so that the asura have rocketed to the top of the "favourite race" charts:

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

[GW2] Asura Week: A Gabble of Golemancers

Oh, look he has a staff. That's a surprise.
I'm a sociologist, first and foremost*, and I know a division of labour which won't work when I see it. You can't run a society on a whole population of hairdressers. So, with that in mind I ask you this: is every single asura a golemancer? 

Every asura we have encountered in the literature (Ghosts of Ascalon, Edge of Destiny and now Jeff Grubb's "Mr Sparkles") certainly is. Snaff, Blimm, Kranxx, Zojja and now Flummox - all golemancers, through and through. Don't get me wrong, I liked the story from yesterday and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I did find it rather predictable. As soon as Flummox said "We’ll need them to get the apparatus operational" the word "Golem" wasn't too far behind. 

I like the idea of a golemancer, I really do, but along with this vocation seems to have to come a magical counterpart. Without too much of an imaginative leap you could come to the conclusion that every one of the above named asura was a student of the arcane arts in some form of another. And I don't just mean (yes, I did start that sentence with "and") that they dabble in the mystical; I mean fully fledged, fireball wielding, lightning bolt hurling magical professionals. 

My issue is that ANet have always had the stance that no one race will be overly powerful as one school of professions. If it were the case that the norn made the best warriors, then no-one would play any other race (short of RP purposes) for their warrior. I'm sure it is still the case that the races and professions are in balance, but in terms of lore I think we'd currently be hard pushed to justify an asura guardian - all the lore sources we have seem to suggest that they don't exist.

Look, I don't like to complain (and I'm sure that Ree's post at the end of the week will feature a roving band of renegade asura warriors complete with rippling biceps, short fuses and even shorter attention spans) but would it be too much to ask for a story containing an asura guardian? Even a thief or ranger would do - something which shows off the other side of their character? We know they have brains - but how about we see a little of their brawn?

*Trained at the 3rd best University in the country, I'll have you know! 
Ps. I'm willing to admit some of them may be engineers, but that still isn't satisfactory!

Monday, 12 September 2011

[GW2] Asura Week: Littllest, but not Least

As I type this I know a number of my Guild Wars buddies are eagerly sitting by their blog feed waiting for ANet to drop the first article of the much anticipated asura week. The asura have claimed a lot of attention since they were released during Gamescom - mainly due to their freaking adorable animations and fantastic character modelling - but they have a long history at their back, and that's what I'm here to cover today.

The asura are short. There's no way around it, they are titchy. They are primarily a subterranean race and so have evolved large eyes to compensate for the low light of their underground lairs, and large ears to further enhance their senses. With short legs and short tempers they make unlikely heroes, but what they lack in stature they more than make up for in arrogance and self-belief. They are renowned for their faith in their own intellect; and this faith is, by and large, well placed.

The asura construct great cities of swirling rocks and boulders held up by arcane energies. They mackle together monstrous golems of metal and magic to do their bidding. Their great intellect does have a downside, however, as they view almost all other races as intellectual inferiors and often dismiss them as dullards and dunces out of hand. However, they are fierce fighters, determined and stoic in their eagerness to prevail (and such, prove their superiority over their opponents and friends) - as such they make terrible adversaries and even better allies.
 The asuran belief system is almost Gaiac in origin. They believe in the "Eternal Alchemy" - in that each facet of the world is interconnected and part of a greater structure. As such, working out the great formula for life should be an asura's greatest concern. 

In the years between the end of the Guild Wars story and the start of the Guild Wars 2 one, the asuran race - much like a lot of the races of Tyria - has suffered somewhat of a displacement. The increasing ferocity of the Destroyers (having recovered from the loss of their General - the Great Destroyer) has forced the asura from their underground cities and into the daylight. Even the transformation of the dwarven race into rootin-tootin stoneclad fighting machines hasn't been enough to prevent the need for the mass exodus. The asuran race has had to adapt to their life on the surface. The great city of Rata Sum has flourished and has evolved in kind from their main outpost on the surface to their fully fledged capitol city.

The asura have kinda won the hearts of the Guild Wars population over the past few weeks and ANet must be giddy with excitement to see how we react to all the juicy info they will be releasing over the next 5 days. I'm personally excited because I know that what comes out of the ANet blog from now until Friday will shape my final decision on my main race and so will probably shape how I play the game in the (hopefully) years to come.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Good Books for Gamers #1: House of Leaves

This is the first post in a series I hope to be setting up over the coming months; Good Books for Gamers. I'll be reviewing books which I believe should be a the top of any gamer's reading list. They won't be like "Big Jim's Big Book of Game Cheats", but hopefully they'll be books which will nurture the kind of mindset which you need to be a good gamer or at least bring up some interesting ideas for your brainbox.

First book in the series is one of my top 5 fave books of all time: House of Leaves

Released in 2000 and written by Mark Z Danielewski House of Leaves tells the story of a number of different characters:

Johnny Truant - a tattoo artist who's friend suggests he moves into the apartment in his block which has just become available. In this apartment he discovers (amongst other weird shit) a mysterious manuscript which he edits and transcribes for the reader, the manuscript is written by the previous occupant of the flat a Mr...
Zampano - a mad old man who lives alone in his flat with boarded windows and blocked ventilation systems. He is writing a critique of a documentary film called "The Navidson Record" which concerns the events surrounding...
The Navidson Family - William Navidson is a famous photographer and he is moving into a new house with his wife and children. Unfortunately, they find that their house holds some pretty fricking freaky secrets. Will Navidson films his exploits in his new home on a video camera; the results of which eventually become the documentary film "The Navidson Record".

(There are also the fictitious Editors who pipe up now and again to edit or paraphrase some of Johnny's ramblings - they are assumed to be the ones publishing the book as a whole).

So, as you can probably tell the book is pretty complex: Johnny is transcribing Zampano's critique of a documentary about a family. It's a book about a book about a book about a film. House of Leaves is a freaking onion, it has so many layers. It's a whole bushel of onions, dammit. Do onions come in bushels? I guess that's irrelevant.

The Plot
Starting from the very bottom of the narrative tower, ie: the Navidsons. The documentary "The Navidson Record" is pieced together out of old family videos filmed by Will Navidson. After a sizable description of the characters and their lives before they moved into the their new house, the story really starts when they discover that their new home is literally bigger on the inside than it is on the outside (they actually get a tape measure out to verify this). But it really, really starts when they come home from a trip to find a new door in one of the walls. A door leading to a hallway which, physically, should extend out into their back garden, but doesn't. The documentary which Zampano critiques mainly concerns the strain which is placed upon the family as Will Navidson and other intrepid adventurers explore the pitch black labyrinth of twisting hallways, shifting doorways and endless chambers which lies behind the new door. Frankly, the whole experience is incredibly harrowing and terrifying!

Zampano's written critique of the documentary is rambling and frequently goes on tangents so immense it's like reading an acid trip. At one point he begins listing the characteristics of various shotguns - right down to their measurements and specifications. 

Johnny transcribes Zampano's insane ramblings for us, but often goes out of his way to describe his own drunken, drug filled, sexed up, insomniac lifestyle. Johnny's story is told in parallel to Zampano's, often in epic footnotes (sometimes taking up whole pages themselves).

What makes House of Leaves so interesting for me is the fascinating way the information is presented to the reader. The text is often distorted to reflect the characters emotions, feelings and situation at the time. For example, when Will Navidson is squeezing his way through an increasingly narrow hallway the text becomes tighter and tighter - forcing the reader to quickly skip through the text and feel the increasing pressure as the blank margins bear in on the text. 

 Similarly, as Will is climbing a rockface we have to read up the page in sections to simulate the feeling of ascending at a laborious pace.

Danielewski employs colour to add an extra layer of intrigue into his text. Every instance of the word house is in blue, every instance of the word minotaur is in red and throughout the book, strikethroughs and purple text is employed - but never really addressed. The book comes with a sizable full colour appendix containing a number of letters to Johnny from his mother and other interesting pieces.

Gaming the book
Why I think this book would be interesting to the average gamer is that it is absolutely riddled with riddles, it is covered with codes, cryptic cryptids and puzzles which, if you don't keep a keen eye, you'd miss. For example, at one point Johnny meets a band in a bar who have read his published copy of Zampano's transcript, not knowing the Johnny is the author one member says: 
"Had he made it to Virginia? Had he found the house? Did he ever get a good night's sleep? And most of all was he seeing anyone? Did he at long last find the woman who would love his ironies? Which shocked the hell out of me. I mean it takes some pretty impressive back-on-page-117 close-reading to catch that one." 
(House of Leaves, pg514)

So, you flick back to page 117 and find (in a particularly rambling footnote on his woman trouble) Johnny says:
"...a wild ode mentioned at New West hotel over wine infusions, light, lit, lofted on very entertaining moods, yawning in return, open nights, inviting everyone's song"
(ibid, pg117)
Which is an acrostic of "a woman who loves my ironies". Other puzzles reveal more about the characters, at one point Johnny's mother writes a letter which contains the code: "my dear Zampano, who did you lose?" similarly in acrostic - suggesting a hitherto unknown connection between the two characters.

This is just one of thousands of hidden gems which are burrowed deep within the book, and there is debate on whether we have discovered them all, and whether we have fully understood the ones we have discovered. There is the matter of the front cover, for example:

As you can see, the front cover is not quite large enough to cover the inside of the book. Almost mirroring the house itself in it's topsy turvy dimensions. Some have gone as far as to say that the book published by the editors IS the house - and the house IS the book. But that's getting into some pretty messed up metaphysical fuzz which I really don't want to get into right now.

My point is that the ability to grapple with puzzles such as the House of Leaves is an essential characteristic to being an effective gamer (well, OK, maybe not some FPS games, but certainly puzzle, MMO and adventure games). Even if you don't buy into the puzzle and game side of it, it's an incredibly engrossing book. Before the end you begin to wonder what part of it is real? Was there ever a family who lived in a house bigger on the inside than out, or was that made up by Zampano? Or was HE made up by Johnny as an expression of his increasing paranoia and madness? Or is it all the insane ramblings of Johnny's mother - alone in the mental asylum?
If you aren't convinced as to how enveloping the mystery is, just take a look at my copy: 

PS. that's how a book SHOULD look by the way - nice and worn. If another person lectures me about "breaking the spine" of a book, I might just go biblical on them.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

[GW2] Guilds: My most Laboured Metaphor yet!

The first game's guild system is like having a full time job, not in that it's a chore - just in the way it's set up.

You can't have two full time jobs (you ain't got a time turner, crazy fool) you have one job and you work hard at it. A job can be heaps of fun if you work alongside the right people and enjoy the work. It can be a pain in the arse if you don't have the right people by your side, because it's the only damn job you have and for the moment you have to stick by it. If your boss is a douchebag then it's going to be extra difficult to get along - they're the one in the driver's seat, after all (but that's a whole other metaphor, stay focused!). Even if your workmates are the best in the world, if your boss is a wankstain it's not going to be an easy ride. Changing jobs can be equally painful; if you move to a rival company then you're going to piss off the people you leave behind and workmates who became good friends can easily lose touch over time.


Don't get me wrong, if you enjoy your job and work alongside some really great people then you probably wake up in the morning (ie, log in) and think "DAMN I can't wait to get to work and start that freaking filing!". However, imagine if you work alongside some really great people and your working life is great, but then an old friend approaches you with an idea for a start up company - selling porcelain elephants.
It can't fail; its-a-freaking-GOLDMINE!
You'd have to leave those workmates behind to start your porcelain pachyderm factory.

(Still with me on the metaphor? About halfway now, how about taking a break: stretch and take a deep breath... ready to start again?)

In the new game the guild system is like going to a bar. Walk through the door and there could be any number of people milling about. It's likely you've come here with a few friends and that's great, but you know that there will be people in and out of this bar all night. You might choose to visit a few bars over the course of the evening, maybe jump from group to group and socialise with a number of different people. One night you might choose to spend the whole evening in a chill out bar, drinking ice cold vodka from frozen shot glasses. The next you might flit from sports bar to nightclub to strip club - you saucy devil. It doesn't matter if you decide to leave a bar and go elsewhere, you can come back later just as easily if the shisha bar across the street turns out to be a little crappier than you thought it would be.

If you're enjoying an ice cold beer with a group of friends from college (probably discussing the viability of starting up some sort of porcelain elephant production) and you're approached by the smoking hot barmaid from the pub just around the corner, you can excuse yourself from your current group - promising to return once you inevitably strike out - and attempt to woo the frisky young vixen with your talk of dynamic events and epic dungeon crawls whilst enjoying a cloudy ale and a packet of pork scratchings.

Besides, don't you spend most of your time at work wishing you were at a bar?

ps. the metaphor works equally well for class vs playground, but this was the more "mature" version.

FLASHBACK: Revolving at Nine Hundred Miles an Hour

PLEASE NOTE: This is a repost of the very first article I ever wrote for this blog, I thought I'd post it here as a reminder (mainly to myself) to be thankful for what I have. And to be angry that I wasn't born with laser eyes. Enjoy!

Sometimes I feel I have to remind myself how terribly unlikely is my continued existence. Just the plonking together of so many chanced variables to create me. The same applies, of course, to you... and to Jimmy Carr, and my boss Alison, and Robert Mugabe and David Attenborough and everyone else on this Earth. Let me see if I can illustrate what I mean:

Here is a picture of the Universe:

Its not a very exhaustive representation, they don't make webpages big enough, but I think you get the idea. As far as I understand, the Universe contains a finite amount of matter - lots of different kinds stuff and crap which comes together to make other stuff and crap. Planets, Stars, asteroids, bicycle pumps, sellotape, coffee mugs, anchovie pizzas, cotton wool - everything. It just so happens that matter had formed to produce our solar system, just the way it is. Look, here it is:

Look at all the happy planets (I have included Pluto - whatchagonnado?) all whizzing around, and the big shiney Sun in the middle. Brilliant.

Now, the right matter has come together in just the right places to produce this working solar system, each planet is exactly where it is because of a number of cosmic forces working together and against each other to produce this dazzlingly complex system which just kinda works. In the vastness of the Universe, I think thats kinda cool.

And (yeah, I'm starting this sentance with AND, whatchagonnadoaboutit!?) ...and nestled somewhere near the middle is Earth:

Its just the right distance from the Sun, not too cold, not too hot. If the interplanetary calculations were off by the slightest bit, we would be an arctic wasteland, or an arid desert of noxious gasses - but nope, its just right, and then... BAM - toasters, marker pens, Tesco Clubcards, wineracks, staplers... everything! Although when compared to the vast Universe shown at the top of this rambling post, the Earth might seem like a speck on the shoe of existence, it is still pretty fricking big. And being so big (oh look, I did it again), it houses a great number of people. Last headcount I did we were around 6-7 billion. And out of those 6-7 billion it just so happens that two people met and did the sex. EW. I know, I thought I'd slip that in there nice and fast and hope you wouldn't notice (just like they did, eh? eh? Urgh, dirty Distilled). But the fact remains - thats pretty unlikely isn't it? That these two people, shown below...

...would find each other and make a baby, out of all the other people they could have (and may have!) made babies with, they made a baby with this particular partner and that produced you. Yep, thats right, out you popped. Ask your Mum, she probably won't say you just popped out, but she will probably confirm that the expulsion of you from her nether regions was as a direct result of the bumping of uglies betwix herself and your Dad. But, its not as simple as that, there is yet more unlikeliness and chance involved. Not only is it terribly unlikely that these two very particular people would meet and "make-a-de-babby", but it is also terribly unlikely that in "making-de-babby" the mixing of their respective mojos would produce exactly - you. Here you are:

Humans have 23 pairs of Chromosomes (drawing on A-Level Biology here, bear with me... RAAA!), and when we reproduce the sex cells contain a set of these chromosomes and half are drawn from the male sperm cell (go Dad!) and half are drawn from the female ovum (woo Mum, yeah!). But there are numerous combinations which could be produced from this super sexy sperm/ovum chromosomal love-in, there are recessive and dominant genes to take into account, and environmental factors, random mutations and unforseen complications. You could have turned out like this:

or this

or this

What I am trying to get at is that the likelihood of producing you is nothing short of a miracle. That all the matter in all the Universe converged on one particular spot and then you were brought into the world. I'm not saying its Divine, or the work of some creator, merely that there were so many chances over the millenia leading up to your creation for the whole plan to be derailed - the Earth could have been hit by an asteroid and blown up, we could have been just a few feet further from the Sun and spun out of orbit crashing burning and screaming into Mars, your Mum could have been at a different party in the 80s, wearing different leg warmers which didn't match your Dad's frightful 70's throwback moustache in both colour and texture - you could have so easily not existed.

Then again, you could also have so easily been born with LASERS FOR EYES.

Swings and roundabouts, really.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Guild Wars 2: RP your way to Fame and Glory

MMO game worlds are massive. Hence the name, I suppose. By massive I don't just mean in physical size, I mean in population, social structure, demographic movements - a lot of things happen in these games on humungous scales. Skill changes cause sweeping shifts in meta and addition of content pushes market prices on items back and forth - these are gigantic movements.
Contrary to this, however, these large movements are built up of a million tiny movements - the movements of the players involved. Skill changes cannot change how the game plays unless the player changes how they play. Markets cannot boom and bust without players changing the prices of their items. My point is that out of these million tiny movements; how does a player get their movements noticed?

Being an exceptionally good player (and having a large audience to watch you be excellent), being "server first" etc for important feats and, of course, being an active community rep (ie, a blogger, arranging events and being active on forums) are all pretty good ways to get yourself noticed.

However, I think one of the most interesting ways to get noticed would be to roleplay (RP) a character in-game and faithfully play out the persona whenever you are in a certain area. Any player passing through your village, or cave, or beach etc, would become part of your story and hopefully take away a little bit of an experience from the interaction. The dynamic events system would really help to make this interesting and interactive.

For example, perhaps you could decide that you are a guard of a small human village on the Krytan border - ideally one which has a touch of trouble with centaurs. It would be your job to defend the village from marauders, to fight off the hordes if they approach and to attempt to retake the village if it falls foul of the murderous beasts. I think it would be awesome to be known as the guard of little Will-Town (they named it Will-Town after me, don't you know?).

Do you plan on doing any RP in GW2 or other MMOs? Do you RP yourself already?

I could fight any one of you!

I got thiss. I *hic* am totally going to get *hic* that BLASTED title tonight. Phew, haha... why is the floor spinning?

*hic* I love you guys.

Friday, 2 September 2011

My Racey Dilemma!

I've been in a bit of a dilemma over the past couple of weeks. Gamescom and PAX Prime revved up the GW2 hankering which dwells perpetually within my stomach and I'm finding myself eternally torn when it comes to both races and professions. Racewise, particularly, I find myself facing an inescapable question.

The source of my turmoil lies in an essential question I have to ask myself when I venture into a game world - who am I? Am I me? Will - the human male; 6'3, around 15 stone, all round suave entrepreneur and geekeratti? Or am I something other than that?

Am I Bristleback Firepit: The ferocious charr warrior?
Am I Willem Stillwater: Secondborn sylvari ranger?
Am I Vilhjálmr Nix-talker: Tearaway norn guardian?
Or am I Distilled: genius asuran thief?

I've always been drawn towards the sylvari, they seemed to fit the ranger profession and, having played ranger all the way through my Guild Wars 1 career, I had fully expected to take this choice into the next game. But as I have said in the past, the focus which the ranger places on the pet in the new game just hasn't grabbed my attention. As I began to question my choice of profession, so too did I question my choice of race.

In the initial flurry of excitement over the sylvari redesign I overlooked some of my doubts. I loved the fact that they embraced the leafy design and really focused on the organic growth of the race as a whole, but I don't know whether I fully agree with Ree Soesbee's assertion that the sylvari are a totally new race in the fantasy scene (let's be realistic!). Admittedly, they aren't just humans with leaves attached to them, but they aren't enough of a break from the norm to pull me away, and they aren't exciting enough to pull me away from my new loves: the asura and the charr.

The asura and the charr represent a true step away from the norm. Whilst the sylvari could be seen as essentially humanoid, the two more "animal" like races are very much a step into the other. Their animations are so much more full of life than the humanoid races - they sway and shift their centre of balance in a much more expressive way than what I've seen from the other races. It is this venturing into the unknown; into the territory of the more beastly side of role play which really intrigues me. Having asked myself the question: "Who am I?" I've come out with the answer; "Whoever the hell I want to be!" (possibly adding a: "BITCH!" onto the end of it, if I'm feeling frisky).

ps. I'm hoping to refine my choice later this month when I go to EUROGAMER BABAY! Yay.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Milestones - How can I make Time Faster?

The next big game milestone for me is Batman: Arkham City and that's not until October. That's right - OCTOBER! What on Earth am I going to do till then?

And it's true - when it rains, it pours. November sees Uncharted 3 (still working my way through the first game, but it's a lot of fun and I'll probably eventually get this), Modern Warfare 3, Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Saint's Row the Third and, of course, Skyrim. That's going to be one hell of a month.
Ultimately, Skyrim will probably win out and dominate my November, December and pretty much every waking second until Guild Wars 2.

The only problem with this is that I'll be missing out on so many other nuggets of hot fried gold which are on offer.


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