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Sunday Stasis, and maybe Guild Wars.

I don’t blog-post enough these days. Most of it stems from having very little to say overall. I’ve been maintaining a sense of stoic quiet ever since I got it into my head that blogging too much leads to diluted ideas and that those ideas are worse than having good posts surrounded by frequent filler.

Two problems with this: One, my ideas aren’t really that good to begin with. Two, it is better to have a blog filled with dirt and gold than a blog filled with nothing.

If anything, I got myself to the point where I began to imagine that I was writing blog posts. It’s a surreal experience when you honestly believe that something has been transcribed, only to find that it has not been transcribed at all. It’s terribly disconcerting. I’m going to remedy that with simple lines of text, right here and right now. Chronological order. No items, final destination.

Starcraft 2 has murdered my desire to play/write about PvP-MMOs.

Cold-blooded murder. I realized this when I discovered Starcraft 2 fills as much time as a standard MMO. For the first time in a long while, I saw, first-hand, that PvP as I understood it had terrific amounts of drama and exposure, but lacked the necessary component of balance and difficulty that establishes some level of mutual respect.

I suck at Starcraft 2 given the amount of time I’ve spent playing it, yet still love it.

I went to a tournament. Lost to my own nerves. Still, despite humiliation, I love the game.

All video-games with any level of persistence and progress lend themselves to people without lives. Stop expecting MMOs to punish the player with less of a life. It will make your game suck.

Starcraft 2 is skill-based, which means practice time is important. Even in games where losses and wins are largely self-determined, the person with more time to practice is more likely to win.

Champions Online was great for me, but only because I never played it before it went F2P, never subbed, and Glacier was a sufficiently hilarious class during B.A.S.H.

Read: I didn’t share the common opinion of the game because I was ignorant to something.

Played RIFT OB. Enjoyed. Bought at launch.

No hype to go on. Afterwards, was super hyped. Not surprising. Early-game RIFT was a legendary experience.

I played RIFT for the sole purpose of discovering whether or not a dynamic content system is what was wrong with MMOs.

Guild Wars 2 kinda’ predicates itself on a system similar to RIFTs.

I played a Warrior in RIFT. Casually, I hit max level in 2 weeks.

It was fun, but the game was short and the honeymoon was over.

I stopped playing RIFT like a mad-man after I had a fallout with a friend. Discovered that any MMO, no matter how good or bad, may go sour if your sense of community goes ka-put.

Emotions win most of the time. Considered going into a monologue about the importance of moderation, but kept that silliness to myself.

I quit RIFT because I forgot how expensive, both in monetary terms and guilt-points, it is to maintain a subscription.

It is as if paying money makes you addicted. No, seriously.

RIFT wasn’t right for me. Conflicted. I like talking about it, but don’t play it. Owch.

The point where I stopped talking about video games to myself because I disagreed with my conscience.

Full hero parties have resurrected my interest in Guild Wars.

Knew it was coming at some point, but I was surprised that you didn’t need to buy mercenary slots. Overall, henchmen were a great idea when the game wanted to pair people together, but six years down the line, the built-in inconvenience lost its function. So glad it’s gone.

I am definitely still awful at Guild Wars, but I like to talk about it relentlessly.

I am not at 50/50 on my Hall of Monuments. It is embarrassing, but for some reason, I feel like there’s a lot of cute things that I can blog about.

Terraria is one of those games that demonstrates why the collective MMO-playing-whole hates MMOs right now.

You can build a house in Terraria. Can’t do that in most MMOs. You definitely can’t customize a home to the level that Terraria allows. Overall, we probably want Terraria housing and customization, but we’ll never get it. Segway into, “Cheaters/Trolls/Etc. are the reason we can’t have what we really want in MMOs.”

Okay, that was painful, but it needed to be said. Now I feel like I can write again. Maybe doodle.



 
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Posted by on May 22, 2011 in Guild Wars

 

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Aika Online – The Paradox of Seriousness.

The paradox of seriousness is a simple concept that every MMO player comes to grips with.  I haven’t quite put it to a real formula just yet, but here goes. The more serious you are in storytelling and motivating the individual, the more plotholes appear. More seriousness ultimately leads to less immersion. Suspending disbelief is difficult in a world that doesn’t give-a-crap about your endeavors against the great phantom lord thing. You’re the chosen one? Yeah, you and everyone else on the server. That sort of deal.

Aika Online, on the other hand, doesn’t take itself seriously at all, which makes it good, fun and engaging. Granted, ‘you’ are played by some clown in armor that probably expected a journey, but finds yourself in a whimsical world filled with menial tasks and strange humor. I didn’t think I would bond with my Pran, who is a little girl with a huge gob, but I have, and I want her to grow so she can amuse me in the future.

Basically, Aika is one of those games that, for once, understands who it is in the big-bad-world of other games. It’s a bit like Dungeon Runners, actually. Part of me expected it, because shipped-overseas games generally have a lot of weird filler that usually sucks. Aika’s isn’t deep, but it is funny at times. Again, I came into this game expecting the worst, and so far, it’s been decidedly mediocre in all regions except a lack of looting tedium and the NPC dialogue.

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2010 in Aika

 

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X-Trap have the best salesmen ever.

3rd party cheat protection programs in MMOs are terrifying for the end-user. Process hooks, extra input devices failing, firstborn being captured and so on occur simply due to the presence of anti-cheat software that usually doesn’t do its job after 3 months. It made me think why any company would consider using 3rd party cheat protection in the first place, given its track record in so many other games as an anemic answer to the unrelenting stream of malcontent that is the playerbase.

Salesmen.

I say salesmen because I don’t feel the industry has a consortium on cheat protection, and if they did, it would stand to reason that they would not recommend X-trap or Gameguard simply due to being more work in the long run. When it comes down to it, neither work to the extent that would be considered adequate protection against the issues that plague any commercial endeavor that involves rendering boobs.

X-Trap must have really good salesmen that carry a briefcase of boogie-men to young developers. There are probably a billion threats spread in gobbledygook in these masterful pitches, so dire and compromising to the success of a MMO that they’re willing to side with the lesser of two evils. If you don’t buy this product, you’re opening yourself up to a billion archaic techniques of data-theft. Besides, game companies would never be as bold as to hook processes on their own volition. Let X-trap do the dirty work in computing safety.

Still, it’s fun to be in favor of the following argument: “You’re a pussy if you can’t handle ‘insert cheat protection’!” The allure of being contrarian just to be a complete douche compels me to remain oblivious to the insanity that is X-trap. And yeah, Aika uses X-trap just like GE.

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2010 in Aika

 

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Love, sorta.

http://news.quelsolaar.com/#post59

Aion is essentially the experience outlined although Eskil is very pessimistic about it. Rightfully so, the guy is single-handedly building a MMO that, at its core, is vastly superior to any other MMO on the market in terms of flexibility. I’ll be forking out the 5 dollars soon.

It’s a decent read from an exceptional individual. I don’t necessarily agree with him on the grounds that his definition of con could be reversed into catering, and that the con is a necessary evil with you have hundreds-of-thousands of players bashing your infrastructure while your development costs continually nag at your heels. Still, perspective is nice, albeit uncomfortable.

Also, the answer to the last question is “Respect, not love, is what is often desired in MMOs.”

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2009 in Aion

 

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