Options are good

Yes, that's a vegetable gun.

I’ve said it more times than I care to think here. For me, when it comes to gaming, options are good. Options provide choice, and making a choice is intriguing. Being able to decide how to do things on your own and complete them in the manner of your choosing is the essence of freedom. As I see it, the more this philosophy is carried out, the more interesting the gameplay.

For example, I’ve only played* the VERY early portions of the original BioShock so far, and this levels are very limited on what you can use as far as powers, buffs, and enhancements. You can unlock more slots for each of these things as you progress through the game, but there is an upper cap at which point, you need to make a judgement call on what you are going to use. This has been a lot of fun for me so far. When going against a Big Daddy, I had to decide if it was more useful to take my electric power, my charm power, or my telekinesis power (to throw his grenades back him) – I got to pick two. That’s a meaningful decision with a host of options dependent on how I wanted to play.

So, with that said, when I read a post yesterday on Gordon’s blog, I was floored by just how much I absolutely disagree with his stance on one area.

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This quote came from where?

[GAME] supports a lot of solo play. However, we want dungeons to be a group experience. In fact, we think the game is more fun overall when you play with friends, which is why we put so much effort into encouraging players to join guilds for [EXPANSION]. Running a hard dungeon with friends tends to be a much better experience. Communication feels less awkward, and everyone is generally more supportive of mistakes. You learn the strengths and weaknesses and nuances of players that you run with regularly. There tend to be fewer loot arguments as well. PUGs have their place — don’t get me wrong. But we don’t want to sacrifice dungeons being fun and challenging for organized groups in order to have everything be conquered by any possible group. Make sense?

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That about sums it up

More glad than ever I didn’t check out the expansion.

Really, everything he explains about the expansion just verifies what I’ve read elsewhere.

Thanks Lum

For being on the ball so I can copy your up-to-the-minute awareness. You’re activity lets me mooch!

To all of those who called it: good job.

I kind of have to at this point

Unless you’ve been living under the proverbial MMO  rock, you’re just now hearing about the RealID fiasco that Blizzard announced. It’s become big enough, and wide-spread enough, that I can’t really ignore it now (that’s blogger code for: “it’s an easy topic to write about”).

I don’t play WoW, but I did. I do play Blizzard games, and have put Starcraft 2 on pre-order. Now, even I, a person who knows how this plan is going to work, has mulled over the prospect of canceling said pre-order because of this. It’s a monumentally bad idea, despite what some say (“Hey guys, it’s all good. Ohhh….yeah, that’s my address. About that…”).

Particularly telling in all this is the rather rapid development and shift in proposed policy of the rule as it applies to Blizzard itself. No longer will THEIR names be displayed, despite previous sentiments (post 16) expressed otherwise. Poor Mr. Whipple, you served as an object lesson for Blizzard. I feel for the guy, I really do. He bore the brunt of the ire of the community of 11 million players. Of particular note, is the hypocrisy in a statement made by a Blizzard phone rep named Josh (who wisely withheld his last name) that employees “cannot risk having their personal lives compromised by in-game issues.”. But players? Ahhh who gives a crap!?

Privacy is a concern for many, many people. Obviously, I’m not overly concerned, I’ve chosen to put myself out there as a blogger. I know what my relative exposure is and am comfortable with it. The massive market and player base that Blizzard has is a level so vastly outside of what I have now as to be nigh unfathomable. I would never want to take shred any illusion of privacy that may remain in my life. Besides, do you really want an ex-guildie with a 4-ton jack bar showing up at your house?

Edit: I wanted to at least relay the information about who exactly is getting into bed with this whole deal. Michael Zimmer, founder of Facebook, is in agreement with Blizzard to create compatability across his social networking site, and this game. Michael Zimmer, who thinks that if you don’t behave, share, or act in the same way across all areas of your life, you have no integrity. I’m convinced this guys a nutter.

The truth about competency

Over the weekend, a guildmate of mine sent me a link to this video. Besides the hosts obvious talent at engaging the viewer, and his head start at making himself sound more knowledgeable by virtue of his British accent, it is a really well put together piece. The crux of the seven-minute piece is the result of a study on individual ability, and the same individuals perception of said ability. I don’t know if the study is real, fake, made up for this, or what, but the concept is sound. I can say this with assurance based on my vast array of anecdotal evidence. Do I need to put an emoticon here to show the sarcasm, or have you all started to be able to discern that by this point in my writership?

This concept of perceived ability being vastly different from real ability in those who are in actuality incompetent, can be extended to almost any activity you partake in. Whether it’s on a forum, where having a discussion with someone, and you just dissect each point with carefully worded and researched counter arguments. Or perhaps discussions of someone’s in-game skill. Of course, this is a particularly appropriate topic given the nature of this blog, and the concept that I am going to focus on.

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WoW, just wow

whorecraftOkay, I had to at least point this out. Thanks to Syp for guiding me there.

Really? Is this what we need? As I commented to Syp, video game movies don’t have to blow, and neither do fantasy movies, but when you combine the two, the odds, they don’t look good. What turns the scew a little harder for me, is that this will essentially be movie about a rip-off that sparked an international phenomina. I take consolation in the fact that it will be a near insurmountable feat to do this right, and will most likely end up being complete crap. The only saving grace is that Raimi is doing this. Maybe it won’t be like the D&D movies…