Posts Tagged ‘World of Warcraft’

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I HATE INCONSISTENCY

November 9, 2009
dudewtf

Ummmm... what?

Hey everyone!  Sorry guys, I’ve been so busy with project for Massively and other sources that I just haven’t had time to blog!  I feel bad, because I have a couple things I really wanted to talk about, but I felt that this topic was the best thing I could vent on to get me back in the mood of talking again — Champions microtransactions.

But, I’m afraid that saying that line is surely a misnomer.  I’m not for or against the Champions Online C-Store at heart.   I don’t intend to buy anything out of the shop, even when they gave me 400 points to spend in it thanks to my GameStop pre-order package.  Likewise, I’m kinda happy it’s there, just in case I do need an emergency respec and I don’t feel like earning one or waiting for a free one to be handed out.

No, what I’m pissed about is the inconsistency of people regarding microtransactions.  Specifically: World of Warcraft versus Champions.

I alluded to my opinion briefly in my last Anti-Aliased, but I’m so fired up about this issue that I think it really deserves its own blog post.  I hate the fact that people let World of Warcraft get away with fucking murder while they go off and rail on Champions.

To give my case a visual illustration, I like to compare this to the South Park episode where Cartman tries to use “psychic powers” to catch a serial killer.  While he tries to help the police department, the South Park police keep missing the HORRIBLY CREEPY DUDE standing in the bikini and blood covered poncho at every crime scene.  They even sometimes stare at the real killer, only to brush him off while they persecute someone else because Cartman said they were the killer.

Warcraft has come out with 10 dollar pets.  10 FUCKING dollar pets.  Not one dollar, not two dollars, no 10 fucking dollars.  I don’t know any virtual pet you could possibly offer me that’s worth 10 dollars of my cash.  It’s a disgustingly high price point, yet people are sitting there and staring at these stupid pets saying, “You know, I really kinda want that.”  Warcraft’s allure and “OMGMMO” status are somehow blinding people from noticing how ungodly expensive this is when compared to…

Champions Online.  The same Champions Online that outraged people when they offered extra costumes at 3 dollars a set.  Or action figure vanity pets for 2 dollars.  Or, even worse, the favoribly priced $12.50 retcon.  No, somehow this game is trying to steal all of your hard earned cash so Cryptic can roll around with it in their pool of money.

No one seems to notice WoW sitting over there, happily peddling 20 dollar server transfers, 30 dollar faction changes, or these stupid 10 dollar pets on top of their 15 dollar a month subscription.  Everyone’s too busy being outraged over Cryptic asking people for 2 bucks on top of their subscription fees.  I even brought this up in Anti-Aliased, and people were blinded enough to tell me that “What WoW offered wasn’t the same as microtransactions.”

I’m sorry, you’re right.  IT COSTS MORE THAN “MICRO” IN WARCRAFT.

But these are the same people who denounce microtransaction item stores.  The same people who spew forth the notion that MTs ruin the quality of the game because developers are too busy putting their work into making MT items and not the game itself.

They don’t care (or notice) that Cryptic only offered five new costumes and a few icon sets versus the 5 events, new monsters, brand new powerset (Celestial powers), new PvP battleground, and new world PvP introduced in Blood Moon.  Not to mention the changes to the game’s weather and skybox to make the place look absolutely creepy.  Somehow, those 5 whole costumes detracted from Blood Moon’s content, even when Blood Moon offered way more than most holiday events.

Let me be clear — I don’t fight for Cryptic because I’m some rabid fangirl of Champions Online or because I’m getting “paid off” by them.  I fight for them because I think they’re getting the short end of the stick when it comes to public opinion.  I fight for them because I find the lengths people go to somehow denounce them insane, especially when World of Warcraft does the same damn thing Champions did, only 10 times worse, and everyone’s ok with it.

Do I sound like a broken record at this point?  Probably, but I keep saying this shit in different ways because if I don’t, some idiot is going to come in here and attempt to contradict me because I didn’t cover all my bases.  So let me be clear one last time.

HATE THE COMPANY THAT IS COMPLETELY RIPPING YOU OFF, NOT THE ONE THAT’S MILDLY RIPPING YOU OFF.  OR, BETTER YET, HATE THEM BOTH.  HAVE SOME DAMN CONSISTENCY, PLEASE.

*clears throat and walks off*

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Recovering from Dragon*Con

September 11, 2009

Hey everyone, I’m back from D*C and it was insane this year.  I had a great time meeting so many people, running my fan panels, and really getting out there this year.  Thanks to everyone for making it happen, thanks to the people who came to all of my panels (and some who probably got sick of seeing me :3), and thanks to track director Kevin “Grimthorn” Stallard for making all of this happen.  If you guys can, surf on over to DC-MMO.org and let this man and his great staff know how well they did this year.

If I could give any one panel a special shout out, it would have to be the City of Heroes panel.  Holy. Hell.  That’s all I have to say about that, really.  The COH community has proven, very strongly, that it is one vibrant, friendly, and amazing community.  I can’t remember the last time I have ever heard of a community coming up with ways to make the game more money.  Yes, that’s right, you read that correctly, the community was coming up with more ways for the game to make money.  That’s how much they love this game.  It’s one thing to say you want more content, but it’s entirely another to say you want more content and you want to come up with ways to fund that content.

Also, special thanks to Chooch and Viv from the COH Podcast for recording the panel, and thanks to Omnitron from the Central Nexus Blog for helping me out with the panel.  Without him and his friend, I would have been so far up the creek, but luckily they were willing to help and lend their expertise.  I haven’t played COH since Architect. >.<

Past that, I want to give a shout out to the SOE Community Team.  Those guys put on a great party on Sunday night, and it was a great way to really end the convention.  Making fun of the WoW Players was AMAZING. :D  (Y’all can blame Kevin Stallard for that, as he’s the one who pointed out the guy in the WoW shirt to Brenlo.)

I’m sad that I missed the insanity that turned out to be the Funcom party.  Apparently when I was there the party was lame, but then after I left it got all rocking at around midnight.  Figures.

I didn’t miss the insanity that was the Kingdom of Loathing party, however.  Those guys put on one hell of a good time — food and booze!  I’m looking forward to their stuff next year (plus it was all done with the hilarity of Kingdom of Loathing, which made it 10x better.)

Past all of this, however, I’ll be putting up my Dragon*Con impressions onto Massively… and telling a few more stories about the con in later posts.  For now, I need sleepies.  Glad to be back!

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All hail the modern MMO gamer — a twitchy, frothy mess

April 14, 2009

A brand new post over at Tobold’s place got me thinking today.  I’m one of those people who harp on how the letters RP are being forsaken in the acronym MMORPG, but I mostly focus on story and improvisational acting.  I’m more about the situation and the experience than I am the fat loot or the power.  But I realized something else in that post that Tobold put up — RPGs are losing their tactical background as well.

WoW, LotRO, and the other games just like it are all fine and dandy, but they are missing that element of tactical thinking.  Standing around and doing a gimmick is not tactical combat at its finest, nor is calculating the arc of the next arrow you’re about to fire from 50 feet.  There is a happy medium somewhere in there, but that’s still not the point.  The point is that our games are losing that tactical edge.

Tobold is right — take the gimmicks away from the boss fights in WoW and your skills don’t matter.  You end up with a whole UI loaded with junk and crazy people attempting to theorycraft their way out of a virtual paper bag.  It all comes down to what armor your wearing at the time, because that’s what WoW does to make sure people don’t get ahead of themselves.  (Because content lockdown via random item drops is the best thing a game designer can make.)

People don’t want to take the time anymore to actually deal with tactics and calm gameplay — one of the reasons of the death of the turn-based RPG system.  But I hate the assumption made amongst people that real time combat is somehow “better” than turn-based tactical combat.  They’re two very different flavors of gaming ice cream.  Some people prefer one, other people prefer both, but it never means that one is greater than the other.  They both offer two different experiences.

I would, however, like to see a return of a turn-based system.  It allows developers to control where the characters are during battles, allowing for some really cinematic fights and amazing magical effects.  It also allows developers to get back to challenging gamers logic senses rather than how many times they can faceroll on their keyboard.  You can also put skills inside menus, dropping the compulsive need to have an entire screen filled with buttons, charts, and whistles with a small little window to see where your character is standing.  (The main reason I don’t go grabbing random mods and rely on intuition during raids.  I like to actually SEE my game.)

Right now, all I have left to hold is basically Final Fantasy XI and EVE Online.  Both feature slower battle systems that allow players to make tactical maneuvers regarding combat, rather than being based on who can press “1″ faster than the other.   FFXI even has the skillchain system, which triggers bursts of elemental damage when players use weapon skills one after another that match certain combinations of elements.  It requires some coordination and thinking on behalf of the party, but it’s 10x of fun when you get one to go off and completely wreck your enemy.

I look forward to the day where I can engage in a game with a great story that me and my friends can get into, paired with exciting, dramatic turn-based combat that is worthy of a cinematic movie.  That’s what I originally thought MMORPGs were going to become… but I guess I was very wrong.

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You need a break from your own “fun?”

January 18, 2009

I’ve recently gotten back into World of Warcraft after a recent haitus with the game, and it feels good to be back.  My guild missed me, the officers missed me, and it was good to just be back in Azeroth.  But after getting back in touch with everyone, I found a few holes in the list.  I asked around to find out where some of my other friends were, and what I got was pretty similar to what I had been doing.

“Oh, he/she is going on a hiatus for a little bit.”

It was when I heard this that it hit me.  Why the heck do we need to take breaks from our MMOs?  A game is something fun and relaxing.  Something we want to play because we enjoy it.  If that was the case, then why do we feel that we need to take “vacations” from them?

Personally, I think we’re taking our fun too seriously — and yes, that’s possible.  You can see it every time a raid comes up, you can see it whenever a new guild drama forum post pops up.  People find reasons to hate one another, even if their united objective is just having fun.  Can’t do the boss in one go?  Blame someone else!  Cause drama!  Loot that you needed dropped and you lost a perfectly legitimate random roll?  Tell him he’s an asshole because he somehow concentrated so hard at his keyboard that he not only caused himself an aneurism, he also forced Blizzard’s random program to make him roll a 89 and you a 2.

This is something I probably concentrate on too much, but fun is suppose to be fun.  This is usually the point where I would say something intelligent like, “Now if you changed the loot system around and perhaps minimized the rewards in favor of promoting storyline design…” and then wish for the best, but you and I know that’s sadly not going to work.  Some people are still gonna rush to whatever the max level is, or try to complete all of your content in 4 nanoseconds faster than their next door neighbor so they can prove to all of the women on the internet (all 6 of them) that they are the leetest (word looks stupid without the 3s, doesn’t it?) hunk of manhood there is in “World of Online Game X.”  All because technically, that’s what a game is about… beating someone else.  It wasn’t originally about the fun — it was about besting someone else.

But I like to think that we’ve evolved the concept of a game past that.  To something more than just that.  To something that we enjoy doing and don’t need to take breaks from…

So please, next time you’re on that raid or in that group… try to relax and enjoy yourself.  You might find that the game might be… fun?

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