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Showing posts from May, 2010

A Clash of Kings - George R.R. Martin

The second book of the "A song of Ice and Fire" series picks up the story where "A Game of Thrones" left it. The first novel divided the kingdom, this second novel leaves those who are left to pick up and mend the pieces. And that's not an easy job. "There are more kings in this kingdom than there are dogs" one poor citizen mentions. Not less than seven self proclaimed kings have a claim at the throne and each one has an army to back it. Some are even looking at more exotic ways to win the iron throne...

The book follows the survivors from the previous novel and adds one new person. Davos is an ex smuggler who is very grateful to his lord, the rightful king of the Seven Kingdoms, Stannis Baratheon. A decade ago he smuggled onions to the besieged castle at Storms End. Stannis gave him a lordship with one hand but took away his left hands fingers with the other one as he believed that everyone must pay for his sins no matter how heroic they act now. Sm…

Eragon - Telling a consistent story

If you want to convince your public that your world is real you have to be consistent. You can't just change the rules in the middle of the story. Let alone doing it multiple times after each other. Case in point? The movie Eragon.

Eragon is about a boy who finds a pretty stone. Not long after the "stone" breaks open a cute, tiny little dragon appears (very similar to the dragon eggs found in A Song of Ice and Fire). I have no problems with fantasy so I'll happily buy dragons, wizards and elves. What I won't buy however is that as soon as the tiny dragon flies ten metres up in the air it suddenly changes into a huge dragon. Seems like some very powerful dragon magic... and a convenient way to prevent us from having to wait twenty years until the dragon is fully grown and the boy no longer a cute movie star.

Sadly from there on it only gets worse and worse. At one moment the protagonist decides to go rescue the girl even though his mentor tells him it's a foo…

Hybrid Power

At the start of WoW warriors tanked and all other hybrids healed. The damage dealing was left for the pure DPS classes and I was happy to do so with my mage. Sure, our guild had a warrior and maybe a kitten damage dealer but druids or paladins weren't good enough to tank an end-game raid instance. And back then that worked fine. A raid needed 40 players and there were 8 classes. So you'd have about 5 warriors in your raid, enough to tank every instance. Perfect for raids but it caused a problem for dungeons. There you need one tank, one healer and three DPS classes. If only one in eight can tank then there just aren't enough tanks.

In the Outland expansion every hybrid could tank as good as a warrior or heal as well as a priest while doing similar DPS to a pure DPS class. This was a great step to fix the shortage of tanks as suddenly three classes could tank. Of course this didn't completely solve the problem as most people are afraid of the responsibility to tank o…

A Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin

Five years ago I joined my first raiding guild in WoW. It was named "Fire and Blood" and its leaders were named Rhaegar and Lyanna. When I asked them where their beautiful names came from they told me they were from the "A song of Ice and Fire" series. Now, years later, I've picked up a copy of the first book in the series. The cover has great quotes from some of my favourite fantasy writers such as Feist, Wurts and Hobb. I was very curious to find out if the book really is the best fantasy series created this decade.

The story takes place in the fictional Seven Kingdoms. These kingdoms have been reigned by the Targaryen family for centuries. Their reign ended fifteen years ago when they were overthrown and the throne was claimed by the new, current king, Robert Baratheon. The kingdom remains united but there's a frail peace. The alliances formed in the war aren't forgotten so easily and it will take only a small fire to set the kingdom ablaze. The bo…

Eighteen months of changes

It's been a year and a half since the last WoW expansion. Back then I levelled my DPS deathknight from level 55 to 80. For these past few months the WoW microbe has been tickling again so it was time to start levelling a new character. I've still got a stabled level 70 mage, hunter and warlock but I decided to go and level my lvl 51 warrior as I want to try out a new play style, tanking. And it's surprising how much has changed in these past eighteen months.

The first thing I noticed is the big improvement in levelling speed. The levels seemed to fly past as I rushed to level 60. But not only those levels went by fast, the 60-70 range also goes by a lot faster. I still followed James Levelling Guide but I could skip entire zones. It only took me Hellfire Peninsula, Zangarmarsh, Nagrand and part of Blade's Edge to get to level 70. When the guide told me that I'd now ding level 62 I was already level 63. And the biggest change to this range is of course that I could…