Welcome to Empirical Purple

A blog by Simon Brady to cover a surprisingly wide range of geekiness, in a combination that no-one else does quite the same way. Probably. Either that, or it'll just be Simon talking about the likes of Football (usually the Soccer variety), PC & Tabletop Gaming, WWE, Movies, Music and occasionally even my actual job of Graphic Design, depending on what I'm up to in the world.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Woeful Worgen and Grand Theft Gobbos

Something is rotten in the lands of Azeroth: Cataclysm's expansion races. As I mentioned previously, I've not been impressed with the Worgen and, since playing the starting quests, the Goblins either.

Dumping (or, rather, opening up the formerly closed area of) an expy Victorian London into Azeroth in the form of the walled city of Gilneas is bad enough. Filling it with Dick Van Dyke-esque mockney accents takes it too far. Then, once they've crossed the line (to them, the line is a dot) everyone is a werewolf. Worgen. Whatever.

Everyone dresses in black, you can gain a Top Hat as a quest reward before level 10, and the animations are god-awful, not to mention the Incredible Hulk pants. Perhaps the worst, thing, though, for people like me, is the roleplaying. When Death Knights came out, there were two problems: people who couldn't RP, and people who couldn't play, who both took on the DK as their trophy.

Now, at least, Worgen have only been taken up by people who can't RP. For years, certainly roleplayers have desperately tried to make their characters into Vampires, Werewolves, Dragonkin and the like, all with varying degrees of failure (and so ever rarely success).  Now, however, we have people wandering around as werewolves and muttering darkly about their 'curse'. That 'curse', of course, is some awesome new racial abilities.

Then there's the Goblins, who are, at least, on a par with Gnomes for comedy technician value. Unfortunately, the entire race seems to be a piss-take, and the opening level quests are essentially Rockstar:Azeroth's version of the game. Witness, also, a car to drive around in, picking up 3 of your mates to go and whack people who won't pay, followed by being the perfect host at a dinner party and beating off invaders on motorbikes.

Yes. It's true, WoW just jumped the shark. Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Go Jump in a Lake

Yes, England have retained the Ashes. This is a good thing, because we haven't done it for some 24 years. To do it in Australia, too, is a doubly good thing. It proves that we're one of the best teams in the world at a sport we invented, of which the same can't be said for football.

What I like about Cricket, though, is the sportsmanship. When Ricky Ponting, Australia's captain, decided to question an Umpire's no-out decision in the Melbourne test, there was an appeal, a referral, and about minute's worth of conversation between Ponting, England Batsman Kevin Pietersen, and the umpire Aleem Dar.

In a sport such as football, in any game, a referee's decision is just as final, but is so much more open to the 'debate' of a bunch of athletic, overpaid chavs yelling and swearing at the ref. In cricket, one Australian's slightly animated chat with the official brings him a 40% match fee fine, and general tutting from around the world.

It was the Aussie commentator on Fivelive (which I believe was former Australia captain Ian Chappell) who, when talking about the chat between Ponting and Pietersen, said "If I was Pietersen, I'd tell him to go jump in a lake".  When, in football, would you hear the likes of Phil Thompson, Alan Shearer, etc, on the side of a player against their old team? That's sportsmanship, sadly lacking from a great deal of games.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Well that was a busy month

What with one thing and another, December has been absolutely crazy.

The PWCBBL has moved onwards and upwards to our Quarter-Final stage, and thanks to a 2-0 down, 3-2 up AET victory over Tom's Necromantic 'Grave Robbers', my Undead team has moved into the Semis. All good there, and I think the League itself has gone pretty well. Major suggestions for next year include 'more pie' and 'a cup tournament before the next season', both of which seem like great ideas to me.

It's all gone mental in the world of the NationStates World Cup, too, as there were votes and nominations and Constitutional amendments aplenty, with me in the middle of it all once again. Some Mrs Merton-style heated debates sprang up over all sorts of things, which have hopefully settled down, giving us the 54th edition of the World Cup beginning early in 2011. There's also the small matter of eight or nine different candidates for the Presidency of the World Cup Committee, which again includes yours truly, the incumbent. Oh, and not to mention the 16th Di Bradini Cup going on with only minor delays this time.

Some fool also decided to try and get a me World Assembly Commendation for my Sports RPing work on NS, which is absolutely lovely, and I can only hope that the voting members of the WA see fit to vote yes on that. Even if they don't, it's nice enough already to have been considered for such a thing.

Away from text-based forum RPing onto MMORPGing, I've claimed my free 10 days of World of Warcraft:Cataclysm, too, and have finally been able to grind out a few remaining PvP battlegrounds to get my highest level character, Fyreskar, all the cool-looking - but ultimately useless - kit so he can wander around like the cock of the walk. He's even pictured, too. I'm not entirely impressed with the new playable Worgen race, though, but that's for another post.

December's Magazine has come and gone with more technical hitches than usual, while January's is half-done, the second half ready to be done the very first week of January 2011, like it or not. It'll be a little bit mental that week, so expect some venting and ranting at something around then.

Watching the news has also been fairly dull. The news: Snow. The sport: Canceled by snow. The travel: Don't, there's snow. The weather: Can you guess? Snow!

Work is over for the year, there's just Christmas and its related celebrations to sit back, relax and enjoy. Or fret, work, slave in the kitchen and generally tolerate as you get through them. Hopefully the former.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Picking up our ball and take it home

We don't like Sepp Blatter (the President of FIFA), and he doesn't like us. It's a relationship that has stood the test of time, in that whenever he comes up with something ludicrous to 'improve' football, we tell him he's off his rocker. Then, whenever we try and do or change something ourselves, he laughs and calls us crazy Englanders.

Our World Cup bid for 2018 was a very, very good one. England are the only one of the four bidders who could hold a World Cup tomorrow. Well, perhaps not tomorrow, what with all the snow that we can't deal with, but you get the point.

Technically, we were the best - best stadiums, best transport, best infrastructure, etc. Commercially, we were the best and FIFA would have been richer for choosing us. Whichever of the 31 other nations who qualified for a tournament run by us would find their compatriots in our country. Every country would have support, no matter how rich or poor. Our legacy to global football would have been, by 2012, spending the same amount of money as FIFA itself on developing the global game.

Well, fuck you, FIFA. You're quite happy to take our money, to bask in the glory of our Premier League and our domination of the Champions League Knock-out rounds in recent years, but when it comes to giving us a helping hand, we get one vote from our own representative, and one vote from - probably - a Japanese guy who is Bobby Charlton's mate.

I don't want us to leave FIFA, nor recommend that we should. All we need to do is withdraw our cash from the footballing world, and keep it in England. See how well the global game develops without some hard-earned pounds sterling.

Russia will probably make a great World Cup host - they had a very good bid that seemingly revolved around the 'legacy' of "making Russia more interested in football". Wow, well done, what a shocker.

Don't even get me started on Qatar, though.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

But the Fire is so Delightful

Pretty scene, isn't it? That was out of my office window yesterday at lunchtime. I even had a wander around the village and it was beautiful. Massive great chunks of snow were falling gently from the sky and, wrapped up nice and warm, it was a lovely little walk.

The roads, at the time, were fine, even the little country ones that I have to traverse to get there and back. On the way home, though, once it had got dark and been snowing, it wasn't pretty at all.

Despite the major routes being perfectly fine and clear, the country roads were, frankly, shit. Not a great journey home by any means.

So today, waking up to snow falling from the sky and news on the radio of country roads being impassable, I'm not going to work this morning. We'll see if the sun and snowploughs can melt and shift enough to get a route for me by lunchtime, but at the minute I'm staying put.

Lucky I've brought home some editorial layout that I need to be getting on with, isn't it? Damn it.