There’s a lot going on out there in the circles of the gaming world I put interest into. Everyone seems to be doing something, getting ready to exit out of that summer slump that seems to hit every year. Interestingly enough though, very little of it is really revving my engines. For the LoL players, we have Dominion. For WAR we have the 1.4.4 patch (and 1.4.5 after). MMO players in general are in a tizzy over the SWTOR preorder. Prime:BFD is running on all cylinders finishing up development. Lastly, I recently joined up with fellow-blogger Rer’s corporation in EVE.

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Social Groups are Segregation

It keeps the group tight, but also keeps others out.

News at 11 – MMOs are not like the real world.

Except they are. Sort of.

Sweeping generalizations have their place, and can be used to effect at times. This was not one of them. The problem lies in just how frequently the statement is wrong. This statement about a genre of game that grew from the attempt to realize virtual worlds, started off way off base. Some MMOs are games, and some are worlds, but even in the MMO that is “just” a game, they share a lot of similarities with the real world. Particularly in regards to the social groups that arise in them that Tobold seems to want to force together, as he attested in a contrary post to a couple of pro-segregation bloggings.

The biggest problem that I have with Tobold’s assertions, is that any social group, in any setting, has imposed a form of segregation on the world around them. A group of friends who get together and watch movies and talk about them afterward won’t create a welcoming environment for someone who wants to turn their hobby into a book club. A team of people who play softball aren’t going to welcome someone coming in and trying to play baseball instead. There’s the entire gamut of examples that could apply to this from extreme to subtle, and the result would be a collection of person’s who only include those with similar goals and drives. A devout Baptist won’t attend a Latin mass. Segregation doesn’t need to be a dirty word that indicates a separation based on inapplicable reasons. It’s a reality of something that we all do in our own social lives, and it makes sense that the social behaviors would extend to our gaming activities as well.

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Every day play

As a gamer, and an MMO enthusiast, I try to play a video game (an MMO if possible) every day, for at least half an hour. This is beyond games on my cell phone like Words with Friends, or Angry Birds, both of which are great games, but not what I consider “serious endeavors” in gaming time. There are days where this goals isn’t always possible, or where I have to sacrifice else-where to fit the time in. Thursdays are a good example of days where it’s more difficult for me to play around in my hobby.

Every-other Thursday my wife and I along with a small group of friends goes to a restaurant and play a hosted trivia. The Thursdays in between trivia, we have those same friends over for dinner and small-group faith discussions. Typically by the time that everything is said and done on either night, we’re not home and settled until 10:00pm or later,  which leaves precious little time for anything to be done after if I want to actually spend any time talking to my wife, watch a program together, or read a book in bed. Last night went particularly long, but I really wanted to get some Rift-time in, which I despaired of being able to do when I saw that the queue was an hour wait at 10-ish EST. I threw myself into the wait, and went to hang with the wife and watch some TV.

Around 11:45 or so, my wife went to bed, and I went back to check on the computer. There was my character select, and the temptation to just play for a short while was too much to resist. So, I sat down, jumped into the world of Telara, and got my Warrior to level 17 from a fresh 15, in just over an hour. My head hit the pillow at 1 am, and rose up from said pillow 5 hours later. 5 hours isn’t a lot of sleep for me, as I usually get about 7, to 7 and a half, and I’m feeling the difference, but I’ve also functioned off of FAR less (read: zero).

So here, I am, typing this post, while chugging down a Lo-carb Monster Energy drink, and eating some peanuts, and wondering, do other gamers play every day? What sacrifices do they make to do so? Do they consider it a worthwhile trade-of (as I do)? Habits of gamers vary I’m sure, but I don’t think I’m alone



IP of Choice

I read a lot of fiction, and the books I prefer tend to be the ones where whole worlds are created. It’s part of why I prefer to stick to a series as opposed to a one-shot novel. This draw is why I love Jordan’s Wheel of Time, and Tolkien’s Middle-Earth, and how I’m able to tolerate Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series (despite how terrible everything after book three is). Coincidently, as a fan of MMOs and video games in general, I spend a lot of time thinking about games, and what I would like out of my ultimate setting. So, a natural occurrence that arises from my affinity of the two mediums is a ponderance on what type of world from an existing setting I would like to play around in the most.

We see this type of creation frequently happen, an existing intellectual property gets cooped into video game format. My current MMO of choice and the raison d’être of my blog is a game with such roots. Warhammer: Age of Reckoning is obviously based on Games Workshop’s tabletop and fantasy setting. An existing IP isn’t a guaranteed success for any game, and the games frequently turn out to be terrible or readily as good. Look to the vast expanse of Star Wars games across all the various platforms for a clear evidence of this premise in action. Still, there’s a strong connection and appeal between the creation of a world in literature and to the creation of a world in virtual space. It may have to do with the groundwork being laid out for you, and the ability to hit the ground running in terms of framework and concept. If the literary work is popular, you have a bonus with a built-in initial fan-base that is likely to at lease partake in the initial sales.

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Burn them or Forgive them?

Can you tell what game I've been playing lately?

Ahhh, patch-day. Anyone who has been playing MMOs for any period of time has come to love and loathe these wonderous days of days. When large updates come down the pipe, the hordes of players flock to the game en-masse to experience the new shineys of the world they love so much. With so many people running across that bridge back to a wonderland of fun, it’s no surprise that things go wrong from time to time. Yesterday with WAR was no different. All servers were announced with downtime around 8pm EST, and slated to last till 9 pm, then 10:30 pm, and lastly, for 11:30 pm. At 11:30, the servers did come up.  Right now as I type this, servers are down again, until a prospected 5:00 pm EST. This is a lot of downtime for Mythic, and one that I can’t remember being equalled previously with any other patch. For Mythic mind you, I can easily recall the time of EQ2 and WoW where patches and expansions required DAYS of downtime to finally get things smoothed out. So, this lead me to wonder, how do people feel about these perilous adventures in newness?

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I guess I’m a finisher

Syp had an interesting post the other about “middlers” as he calls them. Non-commital slack-abouts as I see it. Now, I’ll admit, that I have a few MMOS I never reached level cap too. City of Heroes and Champions being notable instances. For one, I just couldn’t face the grind, the other, I despaired of anything to do once I reached it. When the reality of nothing to do after the rides are over in a theme park sets in, the visitor goes home. With sentences like that, I guess a part of me understands why people don’t reach the endgame. I doubt I’ll ever reach level cap in any PvE MMO again. For reasons I’ve discussed already.

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