With the extra time I have from my sports off-season, I picked up another hobby of mine: computer games. I crank up the PS2 occasionally, but over the past few weeks I've been pecking away at Guild Wars. I've played a total of 75 hours in 6 months on my main character, which probably breaks down to 15 hours in the first 3 months, and 60 hours in the last 6 weeks.
I reached a milestone in the game by completing all the missions for "Ascension", which basically grants me access to the last part of the storyline. In the mythos of the game, by Ascending I seek to prove myself worthy of fighting off the evil consuming the world of Tyria - standard game plot stuff, but there have been a few nice twists along the way.
About to Ascend
Here I am before the Ascension trial. Most missions require multiple players to finish (at the very least you can take along henchman which are controlled by the computer), but the Ascension trial must be fought solo.
After winning the Ascension trial and finishing the next mission, I reached a new city that sells better armor. I dyed my earlier armor red (top picture), because I got tired of the default color; now that I bought a new and better set, I am back to brown (lower picture). Maybe I'll try a different color this time like green or blue. Some games of this type make you grind or farm for gear (i.e. repetitiously killing monsters for their loot) but in Guild Wars you can just buy the armor and the dye from in-game vendors.
For the holiday celebrations, a few cities in the game are sporting various holiday themed decorations: snowmen, gingerbread horses, decorated trees, candy canes, giant nutcrackers, and so forth. No gaming while I visit my relatives. Instead I'll read a book or two!