Who am I?

The quickest possible explanation? I am a gamer.

Ever get the feeling you should go out and try get a life rather than wasting it on games? Well.. I've tried that, and asides from it not leaving a great impression on me - or me on it - I hail from sunny* old England so the outside world can be a pretty dreary place! So out in the sticks with few people around and not exactly a clear blue sky overhead (and a degree of laziness) I decided life would be better spent playing games and rocking out.

Sadly my attention span isn't what it was when I was younger and nowadays I am mostly playing MMO's, as the social aspect gives them far more longevity than any other game. Over the past few years I have kept myself occupied by a mixture of learning web languages and playing games, and as with all gamers I know there is always a nice fresh rant just waiting to surface on what's wrong with everything. So, I've (finally) combined the two and created a nice dank corner of the internet to reside in. It's not much to look at it but it's mine, maybe there might even be a shred of useful information in here somewhere? ... wouldn't bet on it but maybe someone will look for it.

Testing the concept of retail therapy, I have a new gaming rig. So as of April 2012, here are my specs:

  • Processor: i5 2500k - OC'ed @ 4.5ghz (Freezer Pro 7 cooler)
  • Motherboard: ASRock Extreme4 Gen3
  • Memory: 16GB DDR3 1600Mhz 9-9-9-24
  • Graphics: 2GB IceQ HD 6950
  • HDD: Ocz 240gb SSD (Games/OS), SataII 2TB HDD (Storage)
  • Monitors: 2x24" LG W2361
  • Mouse: Razer Naga
  • Keyboard: Some 12year old logitech white thing.
  • Sound: Creative X-Fi Music, Cambridge Audio A1 amplifier + 2x100w Gale speakers.

Hopefully I can make use of this to get some decent quality videos of my massive in-game failures, driving in some traffic as a 'comedy site'.. and eliminate low framerate as a factor for my poor performance.

Previous Games

I've played countless games over the years as have many people, but certainly online my largest endeavours of recent years have been MMO's. I began life in real time strategies for several years before making a switch to shooters, and finally MMORPGS.

I would like to think my early RTS love has given me a very strategical mind that can see things on a large scale but we all know that's just nonsense! I have always steered towards the 'group defender' classes when possible, often choosing a tank for the taunt/guard like abilities whilst speccing/gearing myself for a mix of offense/defense. I have never been a fan of glass cannon's nor of turtles, often quite the min-maxer my role was (almost) always to keep my group alive as best as I could. Asides from the abilities classes were often given I always found the best way to do this was cause enough threat to take the oppositions focus onto yourself. I've always been primarily a melee player and a PvPer, I see PvP as an ever changing environment with emphasis on small fights, where one move can make a difference. Not against PvE I do find it becomes tedious when it is a repetitive script each time.

The most notable games I have played across the years are:

  • Star Wars: The Old Republic
  • Rift
  • World of Tanks
  • Warhammer Online
  • Team Fortress 2
  • Counter-Strike
  • Diablo 2
  • Command and Conquer: Tiberian Sun

These days I am usually found in MMO's under the names Torc or Freyn, both of which were the names of my old Diablo 2 barbarians. Neandramathal is my go-to 'unique' name, Crimson tends to be my FPS nick, whilst J40k was my first ever online nick. Always favouring a barbarian/norse/viking type character, with beards and battleaxes!

Star Wars: The Old Republic

So, a bit more specifically on games. The last game to really be played for any considerable length of time was Star Wars, in which I played a Jedi Guardian and more prominently a Shadow (Torc. By the time of my exit from the game (caused by lack of community/company more than anything) I was one of the highest valor rank players on the server, playing almost exclusively in warzones. Despite having 2/3rd's of my points spent in the tank tree and using guard/taunt/control to divert the attention to myself, I seemed to have a reputation as a DPS player due to the pressure I was able to apply. For what it was worth, I enjoyed Bioware's game including the PvE content unlike most, I didn't see there as a lack of endgame content as the majority of players suggested.. just that it took very little effort to achieve, having cleared the Nightmare instances fairly early on.


Rift was the one game I played a true DPS, still dabbling in tanking for PvE but with as always my main focus on the PvP environment. After a few years of Warhammer Online recieving healing I felt it was time to give something else back so actually began life as a Cleric before getting quite attached to the roaming playstyle of a rogue. That again was shortlived however when I returned to my long-standing love of the warrior professions. Barbaric, brawling, bearded, bloody little dwarf with an axe that was bigger than himself. Managing to make a name for myself amongst my opponents ,'Freyn' the dwarf and his warcry of "I'm coming for your kneecaps" was an enjoyable time for me. Unfortunately the developers had a habit of over-nerfing/buffing and the game see-sawed around to extreme's, so it was short lived.

World of Tanks

I'm actually still playing World of Tanks fairly regularly while I wait for the next big game to hit but on a far more casual basis than any of the other games listed here. I've dabbled in all countries and all types of tank, taking heavily to the Tank Destroyers for a good old sniper feel - recently growing a tad estranged with them unfortunately, as I have delved deeper into the heavy lines and begin to feel anything a TD can do, a Heavy does better.

I can be found in game fairly frequently, most frequently on a T32, JagdTiger or M24 Chaffee. Whilst I will come and go to the game over the coming months as new games are released I shall always maintain a presence as I am extremely impressed with Wargaming's development.

Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning

Warhammer Online, the longest lived of my MMO ventures due to 2 things: The company I had, and Greenskins! Initially a tank I did eventually succumb to the DPS profressions, and even enjoying a ranged DPS (Squig Herder!) for the first time. WaR was a game that had everything going for it and a huge existing playerbase but got completely trashed by bad development and EA's cashgrabbing attitude. The first few months were some of the most enjoyable I've had in games, but once people overcame the obstacles in the campaign most either gave up or the gear gap became impossible to overcome. My hardcore attitude died in part with the game and the guild I was playing with, no longer being able to fully focus on all my buff's and debuff's at all times I took a more relaxed attitude.

Command and Conquer: Tiberian Sun

My first gaming love was Command and Conquer. Played for roughly 5 years online I had a large clan and we maintained regular little tournaments between ourselves, there was many a fun person I met back then and gaming felt different on the whole. The term 'n00b' didn't seem to exist, and never was there any drama or arguments, something I hope I can one day find again. I played many C&C games over the years, always into the top100 of the ladders, but Tiberian Sun was the most prominent at one point even reaching the #1 spot. I still maintain hope that one day there will come a game that can give me the same enjoyment.

Whilst I have played quite a few other games more than those mentioned above, I feel they are most worthy of note as my time spent in online FPS's have very little reflection on my current game playing attitudes, other than the notion that I like PvP and rewards mean little. The one game I feel does need mentioning is Diablo 2, my first RPG full stop, and one that I bordered (if not crossed) into full blown addiction on more than one occasion. Always a melee character I simply could not enjoy standing on the spot spammnig fireballs, a big axe was the way forwards for the forseeable future! The majority of my current MMO names originated here, Torc and Freyn being the two most prominent. I played on the US West realm oddly, although in hindsight it was probably better due to my rough sleeping patterns.

At the time of updating this Guild Wars 2 is to be released in 2 hours(ish), and that is where you can expect to find me for the forseeable future.

Why "Crimson Idol"?

So I mentioned I'm a big metal fan right? Well to put it in a rather short and sad way - Crimson Idol is my favourite album.

The Crimson Idol

To be more detailed - "Crimson Idol" is a concept album by W.A.S.P made in 1992. The story is of a boy who's parents despise him, the invisible boy as he describes it, with his older brother and the mirror as his only 2 friends in the world. Following the death of his brother in a car accident, he loses the strength to put up with his life and runs away from home, roaming the streets at 17. Stealing a guitar he sets out to become the biggest rock star the world has seen, taking in all the excess of drugs, alcohol and debauchery that the music machine has to offer. He reaches the top, but cannot find any happines in his life still. A phone call, an attempted reconciliation with his parents, the result of which is less than 50 words - ending with "We have no son". In his despair, he goes out to the stage to play one last concert, taking the strings from his guitar and shaping a noose, hanging himself on stage.

It certainly isn't a happy story but the music is, to my mind, astounding. Emotional and brilliant, full blown metal and heart wrenching all in one. Whilst the story may not match my own I certainly relate to many of the lyrics and - sad as it may be - I pay homage in namesake.

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