The enforced revelry period has finally come to a close. Thank Christ.
There was a conflux of events that lead to Gabriel’s World of Warcraft recidivism, and they should be detailed so that future generations may avoid the black pit of his toil. He once made a card for the CCG based on his character Lt. Commander (sigh) Dudefella that depicted him in the PVP gear he had earned over weeks of honor grinding. The moment he broke into Outland, however, strange pigs were dropping better things than he had earned - a phenomenon we described, appropriately enough, on a garment. His precision ensemble began to slough away as he replaced it with whatever spectral lingerie he pulled off his kills. Add to this the unavoidable fact of his profession - enchanter - and his old equipment was being obliterated immediately. Enchanters don’t see any item in its current shape, which is to them a kind of irrelevant cosmic accident. All they see are the weird dusts and mystical shards an item may be distilled into. The effect this had on his formerly resplendent getup is a vibe somewhere between pimp and clown.
Blizzard has since changed how honor grinding works - they’ve converted honor into a kind of money, instead of a means of gaining ranks, and they’re giving out more of it. Once he saw how easy it was to earn, though, he started to set his sights on more fabulous garb than he had worn previously. Now he feels that by hitting level seventy and creating something called an "Arena Team," he will be able to secure even more fanciful regalia. He is now playing the game exclusively to dress his figurine, a sequence of events I could never have foreseen.
The holiday portion of the onslaught is now done, but Gamer Christmas - the first quarter festooned with the remaining delights - now looms large. There’s a tremendous amount of marrow left for the aficionado. Tender shoots like Culdcept Saga crop up there, too gentle to survive in this year’s brutal crush. Bizarre Creations is dropping The Club, a game whose mystery is finally beginning to crack. Super Smash is already rolling deep. Harvey Birdman, Devil May Cry, and Lost Odyssey have also found their way into this dappled glade. The sequel to Condemned hits in February, a retooled Army of Two will also see release… If you stretch this assessment into the beginning of April, temperatures begin to rise sharply. January, February, and March have become some high silo, a place to store games up for the dry season.