Tag Archives: opinion

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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Miniature Maxing: The small things that make Vindictus a great long-term game.

Vindictus may look like a mindless hack-and-slash game, but there are some design elements that make my intellectual side flutter like a high-school girl over Jacob’s abs.

Vindictus has something really nice going for it: Titles.

Yes, you get titles for doing this.

Most titles I’ve seen in the game do not require you to wear them to get a stat benefit, much like how LOTRO handles traits. Titles are those little bits and pieces of development that fills in the gaps between levels and gear. Of course, there are titles for doing silly things like killing mobs with kicks, environment weapons, etc., which encourages plenty of hilarity, but economically, they do little. Equipment titles, on the other hand, will keep the economy running for a long time.

Equipment set titles bandage this issue. Unlike in most games, when you score an equipment set, it provides you a bonus as long as you wear it, which is always painful. Naturally, your first set is replaced in a day and you bemoan your efforts. Vindictus gently urges you to get sets because they contribute to your stats permanently. Subsequently, when the game matures, many players will want to maximize their base stats and will likely forgo the grind for materials and support the economy via auction house. Equipment set titles are a great, and I mean GREAT, way to keep the wheels turning in MMO economies.

Tokens are surprisingly awesome.

At first, you might scream, “Oh no, it’s like FF14’s fatigue system!” To some degree, you are right, tokens are designed to limit your maximum progress per day, or rather, they’re telling you to get a life in the nicest way possible. I’m fine with this practice because game companies shouldn’t be afraid to tell you that there are more important things in life. However, tokens don’t just teach that lesson; they augment responsibility.

For the first 7 completions per day, each tier 2+ mission requires 2 silver coins. 7-14 requires 3 coins, 15-21 requires 4 coins. You have a maximum of 50 coins, which are recharged periodically (Not sure of the dates.) Efficient use of coins is obvious here: only do 7 runs per day so you get more than the guy who dumps all of his coins on a single day. This is awesome. It helps shorten the gap between casuals and non-casuals, encourages players to exhibit some level of restraint and ensures that all traditional forms of Chinese Gold Farming benefits the publisher and developer, assuming you can buy platinum coins via cash-shop, one of which replaces the cost of silver coins.

I know what you’re thinking right now, fellow grinder. They’re stupid for limiting me. I should be able to dick-measure with investment alone.

Yeah, no. Listen, that mentality has allowed farming companies and sweatshops to flourish simply because time investment is the core component of progress in MMOs. Trust me on this when I say that gold-farmers can trump your time-sinking powers two-fold without breaking a sweat. You want a game that requires skill and not a freaking bot to be on the top-tier. Being against this token system is basically akin to encouraging inflation in a game economy.

You know what tokens mean? Players can dominate the economic field for once, or at least aren’t at the mercy of gold-buyers. I don’t know about you, but I’ll play Civ 5 for a little bit every week instead of suffering the hopelessness associated with inflation.

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Posted by on September 19, 2010 in Vindictus


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Love, sorta.

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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