Wednesday, April 21, 2010

And Now, For Something Completely Different

If you ever find yourself wondering why you're ferrying random materials from one continent to another when there's a perfectly functional mail system, or why a taxi will only take you to where you've been, or why the blasted quest giver is sending you back to the same area yet again to do something he forgot to tell you about the first time...

... the you really should read Shamus Young's "Lord Of the Rings Online" series over at the Escapist. Yeah, he's that Shamus Young [1].

"The snark is strong in this one..."

"You see, the four farthings brewing-moot is coming-," I miss the rest of his sentence because I can't hear him over the construction noise and the rhythmic thumping of me hitting my head against the bar. When I recover, he's asking me to get him some hops.

"Okay...," I say slowly, "So you want me to find a supplier and bring back some or...?"

"We use a special blend of hops. 'Frog Hops' we call it. It grows in the Marsh to the north."

"So basically you want me to invent agriculture for you?"

"What? No, I just want you to go and find some..."

"Yeah, see. That's your problem right there. If you're 'finding' crops, you're doing it wrong. A few thousand years ago somebody came up with the idea of planting stuff on purpose so you don't have to go wandering around in the wilds looking for what you need. I'm actually a farmer myself. Give me ten or twenty minutes and I'll grow you some."

Ponto gives me a dumbfounded look.

"The whole 'agriculture' idea seems to be working out pretty well so far," I assure him. "And it's guaranteed to be more effective than telling your customers about the horrible things you put in their drinks before asking them to fetch you more."

[1] As if there are a dozen online bloggers and game commentators with razor-sharp wit who also happen to be named Shamus Young, so you need help distinguishing them...

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