The Independent London Newspaper
24th July 2014

Letters

World of Warcraft: Is Camden Council's finance chief the highest ranked warlock in local government?

Theo Blackwell World of Warcraft

Councillor Theo Blackwell, the Town Hall's finance chief

Published: 16 October, 2012
By TOM FOOT
 
BY day he roams the corridors of the Town Hall, like a Colossus, as Camden Council's finance chief.
 
But at night Councillor Theo Blackwell transforms himself into an Undead Warlock called PlaguePit and quests across a fantasy online landscape called World Of Warcraft with millions of like-minded gamers.
 
“I reckon I'm the elected politician in the UK with highest ranked World of Warcraft character,” the Labour councillor said this week.
 
The World of Warcraft (WoW) is the most popular role-playing game and commands more than 12 million members worldwide.
 
Just like in Cllr Blackwell's day job – where he is democratically accountable for hundreds of millions of pounds of council funding – players must form alliances, known as “guilds”, to survive and assets are sold-off to raise gold.
 
Gamers are often compelled to play for hours, sometimes days, and experts have compared its lure to hard drugs.
 
The game was rocketed back into the news last week when a US Democrat politician saw her bid for the US Senate derailed after Republicans revealed she led a “bizarre double life” as an Orc Rogue in the World of Warcraft.
 
Colleen Lachowicz hit back saying her critics were “out of touch” with modern reality. In the game, the Orc Rogue excels at stabbing things and could kill without going to jail.
 
But Cllr Blackwell's fantasy alter-egos do have some redeeming features. Pelegius the “Paladin” – a nimble Elf Woman – maintains high levels of intellect and ability to withstand heavy physical damage while his fearsome undead warlock, PlaguePit, is a master of the demonic arts whose powerful curses can wreak havoc and destruction.
 
Both are rated at 85 – the highest scores available in the game – but Cllr Blackwell said PlaguePit “had more character”.
 
According to web forums it could take hundreds of hours to reach the score of Cllr Blackwell's fantasy characters.
 
Just last month, Tory leader Cllr Andrew Mennear suggested at a full council meeting in the Town Hall that he was “falling into a sedentary life”.
 
The New Journal revealed in 2009 how the Tavistock and Portman Clinic in Belsize was considering sending cyber-therapists into the World of Warcraft to speak to anxiety-ridden teenagers.
 
 

 

Comments

Level 90

In reply to your comments

(1) I haven't levelled in the new expansion, just released.

(2) I never said I was a pro.

(3) I suck at PvP.

Nevertheless it's welcome that in the UK you are taken to task for being crap at World of Warcraft, rather than in the US where it is seen as some form of lefty witchcraft.

Thanks,

Theo

I'd be very surprised if

I'd be very surprised if there wasn't another councillor who has a better geared and progressed character in WoW, even a Warlock. As others have stated, since Mists of Pandaria came out last month, the maximum level is 90. Allowing for the fact the councillor has not had time to level yet (his character pages shows he only logged in to the account with the Digital Deluxe or Collector's edition on the 7th October) for Cataclysm his character wasn't very developed.

Plaguepit has done no Cataclysm raiding other than Argaloth, by far the easiest boss. Nor has he done much PvP (player vs player) content, especially recently. Those are the normal measures of progression in World of Warcraft. It appears he has been concentrating on old world content.

There is nothing wrong with any of this. The game is designed to be played in many different ways and I'm sure as a councillor he is very busy. However, none of his achievements require hundreds of hours and most players would not consider him "high ranked", even against the previous expansion.

His character's page is viewable at http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/character/azuremyst/Plaguepit/ (as there is only one warlock with this name in the EU, this was easy to find. In the US the only warlock with this name is level 4).

Actually, level 90 is the

Actually, level 90 is the highest level. You can get to level 85 in a month of casual gameplay easily

Bad journalism.

"Likened it to the lure of hard drugs"?? Seriously?
Also, the newest expansion has been out for weeks now, it's level 90. Don't let simple fact-checking errors undermine your article.

Correction

I don't know when this was actually written but the highest, as you say, "score", in World of Warcraft is actually 90. It's a somewhat different article, though, and I had never heard of Lachowicz or how her hobby was used against her.

World of Warcraft: Is Camden Council's finance chief the highest

I now understand why Camden is in the state it is in!

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