Monday, January 18, 2010

The Final Stretch

I guess I never really did much on Guild Wars during all the time that I have spent playing.  But that was until I started actively trying to do things that I thought would take a while to do.  Case in point is the achievement, or title as it's called in Guild Wars, Incorrigible Ale-Hound.  To get this, one must spend 10,000 minutes dunk.  And the timing is actual minutes, or less if you use some tricks to shorten the effect by some margin.  10,000 minutes equates to over 166 hours, or nearly 7 days.  Obviously, nobody is going to sit around for that long trying to achieve this.  So progress on this is recorded and tallied so that one can continue where left off.  After collecting and amassing so much in-game liquor, I started consuming the item one by one.  It was perhaps one of the most troublesome to do as there are times where I'd want to do something, yet cannot due to the game taking up the screen.  And then there are times when I cannot do much due to a certain 3rd-party utility to assist the process of consumption.  On the final leg of this achievement, I turned to something different: Virtual Machines.  I downloaded and installed VirtualBox to toy around with.  And naturally I installed Windows XP on the virtual machine.  It was fast but it was also significantly slower in rendering 3D.  This is due to limited support for 3D rendering within the virtual machine itself, which has to be passed through to the real video card for processing.  It's not a major hurdle.  But at least performance is as good as it gets for the time being.

At the time, my primary character on my Guild Wars account has 29 total achievements that are set at its maximum.  There is a special achievement for getting 30.  However, the 30th achievement is quite far at this time.  None of the other titles yet to max out are not easily attainable, due to starting late in the game.  Though that sounds misleading.  To be precise, I never really pursued some of these titles because it held no interests at the time.  And even today, some of them don't hold much interest.  The only title left for me to actively pursue is the Lucky title, where the highest tier or rank on this track is Blessed by Fate.  Having spent so much in-game gold on trying to advance the title as far as I could, I am now at a point where I may be able to finally achieve that goal.  However, the only thing standing between me and that is time and availability.  Progress on this title can be done at any time.  However, the method is troublesome and somewhat expensive compared to simply sitting on a location and let the game run on its own for hours on end.

As I look at the game as a whole, I can only wonder just what else is there left to do.  I have done all that I have can do within my own personal tolerance for the game.  Doing it all over again on different characters tend to sap the motivation out of me, as I yearn for something different.  What will the future hold after achieving one of the highest achievements in the game?  I wonder... I just wonder...

Several months back, I posted on having completed a Gundam model kit.  Model kits aren't really my cup of tea.  One of the drawbacks to model kits is the unfinished appearance of the assembled product.  This is has been the case for many years.  Hobbyist have the option of applying color via paint or airbrush in order to give their assembled model kits a more accurate appearance and finished product.  There are hobbyist out there who do so much more and I am envious of them.  They take such great care and know the process inside and out.  They apply the finished color and the end result is nothing short of amazing.  If one were to stroll by a bookstore such as Barnes & Noble or your local comic/hobby store, you will find magazines and publications with images of small scale models that look quite life-like.  Helicopters, cars, bikes, aircraft, tanks, boats, submarines, and yes even Gundams, all well made and all assembled and painted to perfection.

So why blabber on about this?  Like I said, model kits aren't my cup of tea.  Yet one thing Bandai has done that I absolutely love is they make their Gundam model kits capable of being assembled without the use of cement or glue.  It is because of this that I was able to finish Sword Impulse Gundam.  And I am considering going through the assembly process once more.  Hobby Link Japan has Bandai's Gundam Seed Frame Astray Red Custom kit for pre-order.  And while the design is rather over-the-top and crazy, there is one thing that usually piques my interests and attention: swords.  Sword Impulse Gundam had a pair of long sword and it got longer when you attach the visual effects on them.  This one features a pair of swords complete with scabbards.  As Gundam is a sci-fi universe, the idea of a traditional-styled sword with scabbard is unusual.  Yet here it is as part of the design and for a Gundam model.

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