focus generation

So, if you follow this blog, or me on youtube you may have noticed a distinct lack of updates lately. There’s a couple of very good reasons for that. So, let’s be quick about it..

“It’s not me. It’s you”

1) World of Warcraft was, despite the initial highs of Pandaria, not really holding my interest in the same way previous expansions have. I can’t quite put my finger on it – the reliance on daily quest grinding, the terrible performance of hunters in the initial tier, or even the fact that after grinding every possible way of getting gear I was still unable to get some fundamental upgrades. Hitting your head against the same brick wall repeatedly isn’t fun.

2) Okay, that’s all QQ’ing. Really, the game just wasn’t holding my attention. I was thinking of quitting, or focusing on other games to fuel the youtube channel, but ultimately my single heart went a wandering, and it found something wonderous – a girlfriend.

Now, my story of WoW vs love life probably isn’t that different from yours. It’s been a chequered history, with highs and lows. For the most part holding down a full time job, a packed social life, and a full raiding schedule does not compute. For me it was easy to pick which one to drop.

Sorry Azeroth, but I /quit

I still have all my characters, all my mounts, achievements, gold.. but I may give it all away and delete it all to remove the temptation to come back. I’m not sure what this means for the youtube channel at the moment, perhaps just focusing on some let’s plays and random video game footage as I can find time to make it.

I may, however do what I normally do. YouTube was always a challenge for me. Could I do it, rather than doing it for any other reason. In the past I have challenged myself in many ways that I’ve never taken any further..

  • could I make music without having any instruments, or musical knowledge. I went on to found and run some early software / tracking trance groups releasing free music in the mid-90s, and very nearly got a recording contract before moving on..
  • could I go in to the games industry, despite not being a coder? I went on to produce commercial maps for Duke Nukem expansions, and pushed the engine to it’s utmost breaking limits, before moving on..
  • Could I DJ, despite having no vinyl, hardware, or expertese? I went on to being offered a resident DJ position in a UK nightclub, before giving it up and moving on..
  • Could I make gaming videos, despite literally having no experience of doing video work? I went on to not only make gaming movies, but winning numerous international awards, including best gaming movie released in it’s release year, and being sponsored by Intel… before moving on..
  • Could I climb a mountain and raise money for charity, despite never having done any trekking, and being massively overweight? I not only climbed the mountain, but I helped raise over £5,000 for a children’s charity, and even appeared on Venezuelan radio in the process. Pretty awesome!
  • Could I make a name for myself on YouTube? This one has proved the biggest challenge, and despite clocking up 1.6million views on the site I wouldn’t say I’ve made a name for myself. I do have YouTube partnership, I am earning money from the site, but I’m not Yogscast.
    Do i stick this one out to see where I can take it, or do I move on to a new challenge?

Time will tell… in the mean time, I’m enjoying life… seeya later!

Why upload Iron Man to YouTube?

So I suspect this will be a bit of a rambling, and controversial post, but I wanted to address the reason why I’m uploading the Iron Man WoW Challenge series of videos to YouTube.

This version of the challenge grew to be too big for its own boots, in a way. Primarily because the Iron Man challenges have always been a personal challenge, rather than a race to be first. It’s more something to prove to yourself than a wowprogress.com-style logging of the best and fastest people to achieve it.

And this is where things start to get weird. A personal challenge can’t be tracked. The rules are yours, and yours alone to adhere to. If you choose some rules over others, well, that’s fine. If you break the rules or cheat you are only cheating yourself.

Oddly though, Iron Man became something more than a personal challenge

It felt like with the publicity the challenge received in spring 2012 had  made the personal challenge become something more, with some of the first people complete the challenge making statements about their progress, and appearing on popular gaming sites. A tacking site over at wowironman.com had sprung up previously, and through some clever battle.net API trickery they were able to determine if a player was legitimately competing in the challenge, or not.

It added legitimacy to the challenge where none were needed. With progress being tracked on a central site, wowironman.com, this fast became the place to go to see rankings and to see who had failed or bent the rules. Yet this site  is so easily exploitable, it actually throws the whole legitimacy of people taking part the challenge in to dispute – which is a shame, as personal challenges often do not adhere to a fixed set of rules.

Ultimately that is why I chose to document my progress on YouTube so that once complete, I could refer anyone that doubted it to the evidence. Not that i ever expected to finish it, of course, but i certainly hoped I would, some day :)

Let’s take a look at the individual rules, and we see how to break them but stay legit in wowironman.com‘s eyes.

Continue reading