Friday, January 28, 2011

Screw Gamers

I have met some pretty interesting and amazing people through the inter tubes as they say. I've met some cool bloggers, gamers and lots of people while playing WoW. But are Internet friends, real friends?

Now, I've had some pretty good conversations, interesting adventures and long drawn out arguments with people I have met in game. All of it to some degree has been entertaining and fun. But the thing that I always discover is that those relationships tend to fall apart or evaporate just as easily as they come together. The truth is that you don't know who is behind that cartoon character running with you to kill that elite mob. Sure you can hear their voice on vent but are they really vested in being your friend once their personal goal in game is met? You don't know their life story or what their financial situation is. You don't know where they live or what color their kitchen wall is. They are users of animated characters in a game that could close down tomorrow and then what would you have in common?

Real life friends are people you grew up with, who you've socialized with in college or at work. People who you have something other than a game in common with. They attend your wedding or come to your child's birthday party. They hang out during the super bowl or exchange gifts during xmas. You are to some degree, invested in their well being and they in yours. You actually care what they think about you and vice verse. Their is something more than a digital world between you. Even if you get pissed at each other in game, your still going to be friends because of your history together.

You don't have that with a stranger you meet in a game. They aren't invested in the relationship. There is nothing there to prevent them from logging off for good and never seeing you again. When their work is done in game, what is the motivation to keep in contact with you? I have had more people be my friend in WoW only to have them bail for greener and richer pastures. You just have no guarantee of their commitment or how long it will be there. It just seems to happen time after time, which is probably why people think those that play WoW are a bunch of asshats.

I'm not saying that I don't value the friendships I have met through games or the internet. I have. I have met lots of great people this way, but I don't really know them. We have gaming in common and maybe a few other things, but they don't know the real me and I don't know the real them. We are as different as an apple and a grape. I'm just saying that I've been burned too many times to think I'm the only one who hopes an in game friendship will last longer than one expansion or guild. I know lots of people meet their soul mate and marry, but those are exceptions to the rule. What rule is that? Digital friendships are just one key stroke way from being deleted all the time.

So what have I learned? Real life friends are friends you can depend on, because they value the friendship more. They are invested in being your pal. The other side of that is you can't depend on people you meet in game, not really, not to any amount of certainty. They consider you single serving friends. People you can play with and hang out with, but who are always on the look out for something better on the horizon. My advice? You just have to do your own thing and hope that someone will stay as long as you need to get what you want out of the relationship.

The circle is now complete and thus ends the lesson

Thursday, January 27, 2011

More Apples

I criticized a fellow blogger for excluding me from his blog roll. Now, I'm not one to complain about not being on a blog roll per say but I felt slighted just a little and I'll tell you why.

You see me and this other blogger have grown very close over the past few months. I thought we had something special. We would exchange tweets and reminisce about farts, bowl movements and his lack of a decent sex life. I had grown very fond of this person, so I decided very early on in our relationship that I would do him homage by placing him on my blog roll. Now, I'm not one to blow my own horn, but I think my blog is pretty darn good, I mean, Kotaku even quoted me recently and I do know a few movers and shakers in the gaming industry, none that would actually come forward at the time of this writing to admit such a relationship even existed but still I know of them. I also feel that being placed on my blog roll is a landmark for any blogger and its a prized position. Your either interesting as a writer or you not on my blog roll. But I'm feel I'm losing you as a reader so I will continue with the true story.

So, I decided recently to check out the blog of my precious and what did I find? I had been omitted from his blog. I quickly brought the vacancy of my name on his roll to his attention, because I have no shame and any traffic is always good traffic. However, in rectifying this slight, I may have under estimated my own true value to this other blogger, my precious, my fart buddy. Apparently, my name is now on his blog roll, but with the added title of "Large Drunk Penis". I wanted to say, I almost weeped with joy when I read it. I never knew he felt that way about me, and therefore, I...

OMG.. really? Am I going to write an entire blog about Scary calling me a Large Drunk Penis? No not really. I was hoping that by rambling, as Scary often does at the beginning of his blogs, that I might come to some type of epiphany by the end of mine. One that I could wrap up into some kind of gaming MMO blog post or metaphor, but I'm really not all that creative.

Well, I could start off by saying that Rift is an interesting game. I've actually chosen not to play in the 5th beta this week because, well, I'm just not sure its the game for me. True as Scary says, apples are all different with different sizes, tastes and even different looks, but in the end no matter what else, they are still apples. But I already have a favorite apple WoW and I actually like it just fine enjoying it. Sure, I know that I'll get tired of playing it when I reach end game and I've gone through all the raid instances with friends, but that really doesn't diminish the enjoyment I get out of the game now. Those that have reached end game since Cataclysm was released are spouting that its the worst expansion Blizzard has ever released and yet, they were the first online to get it and the first to consume all of its content, so its a win win for Blizzard even if those people bail to try out Rift. But I like WoW just fine and I see no need to replace something that works with something thats a big question mark.

Will Rift hurt World of Warcraft? No more than Lotro or WAR did when they got released. A few will play Rift to level cap then wonder, what next? They will start to yearn for WoW. It always happens. People will want the familiar surroundings of Azeroth. Blizzard will drop in some new free content in a few months, about the time people realize that Rift is after all, just like all the other apples in the barrel. Will it sustain a good following to keep it up? Sure. I predict that those playing Lotro, EQ2 or WAR will easily jump over to Rift. A few with be WoW players, but not as many as some predict.

I'm just realistic not pessimistic. I've seen it all before, Tabula Rasa, Champions, Age of Conan and WAR. Enough hype to power a rocket to the moon, but not enough for the return trip. People go because they want to taste the fresh water, but they don't want to stay there. Eventually, Rift will start to merge servers after 9 maybe 10 months and in a year and a half it will be a F2P model. That's just the future. Besides, people forget that SWTOR is right around the corner and I'm sure BioWare has no intentions of letting Rift beat them. Especially with such a valued IP in their hot little hands. No, Rift will go strong for a while, but people will flock back to WoW eventually.

So says the Large Drunk Penis.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I am a blog!

I am a blog, but what is my true purpose?

Am I just ramblings on a web page or do I have meaning to others? Do readers find me informative or do they point and laugh and discuss how much little thought was put into my construction?

Is it my "job" to report the news or just be abusive and criticize others for their failings and lack of insight? Do I provoke thoughtful discussion among peers or gather frothing fanboys to me?

These questions and others are often asked by most people when deciding whether or not to create a blog, especially a gaming blog.

Do I report how I feel about a game or report what the general population feels? Should I be brutally honest or fudge a little so as to not incur the wraiths of fellow bloggers or fanboys? Will I be a propaganda machine for my favorite games or just report the news and remove any emotional hype?

It's hard to be a blogger. If your popular and your opinion is viewed and respected then any misstep can cause people to pound your site with unwanted comments. Worse, you can be the ire of fellow bloggers not because they want to oppose you but so they can pull hits from your misstep onto their site and I'm sure this happens more than people will admit.

Blogging is a lot if fun, but it can be as pulse pounding as getting ganked over and over and just as frustrating if you let it be. The trick is to remember that blogging is for your personal enjoyment. I have said this before and I will say it again, I blog for me, not for you!!.

If you like it or hate it, leave a comment or add me to your reader, but if not that's cool too. I'm gonna do my thing whether I get 1 or 1,000,000 views a day and fellow bloggers and readers should understand that there is no wrong or right blog just the fun of blogging.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Completed Quest!

I want to do a post about questing. I want to express my frustration about how killing 20 wolves to collect 5 pieces of wolf meat is just plan silly. How you get to the end of a quest chain only to stand in line, like buying groceries on a snow day, behind all the other players in the zone waiting to kill one boss you need to collect the blue reward item that every other same level warrior or healer is going to be wearing or wielding.

Or how, when your grouped with friends,
you still have to collect a quest item for each person in the group. Making the questing 3 or even 4 times longer and it feels like your standing still instead of moving up the leveling ladder. Making the grouping experience seem more of a hassle and pain instead of a fun social happening.

Spawn rates for mobs and quest items are either to slow or too fast and it never seems to match the current server population. How quests are misleading or not 100% clear on how they get completed or to whom the completed quest gets turned into.

I want to express my lack of interest when a completed quest rewards me with a useless book of game enhanced lore or an item my class can't even use or wants. How collecting 10 of anything to bolster favor with a merchant in town is extremely tedious and silly when the game clearly defines my character as a hero of this virtual world right on the box.

Heroes don't deliver milk or sandwiches. They don't kill rats or collect spider eggs. We don't have long conversations about our role in this virtual world.

As soon as developers realize that we are heroes and not errand boys, then they will have completed the biggest quest of all, to create the next generation of MMOs.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I want to play Rift that much is a certainty. Now the question is how much should I invest in this decision.

I found out today that Amazon has the game listed for preorder. The standard edition is $50.00, which is reasonable. However, I'm actually considering buying the Collector's edition, $80.00 worth of gaming goodness, and to be honest that would be a first for me. In all of my years of gaming I have never purchased a Collector's version. Just never saw the need but man I'm pumped about this game.

Maybe it's because a lot of my new found WoW friends and twitter community buddies are planning to play Rift day one and if I have learned any thing about Rift by playing in the beta it's that the most fun to be had in the game is to play with friends.

Buying the Collector's edition may or may not happen but regardless I will be playing day one.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Honeymoon is Over!

When I switched over to Horde and decided to dive back into WoW my hope was that the amount of Asshattery would have grown smaller, but I'm here to report just the opposite.

My main issue as always is the dungeon crawl. Players have adopted the Lich King mentality of instancing, which in a nut shell is to blast the mobs till they crisp and to hell with worrying about crowd control and agro. Problem is, this solution doesn't work with old world dungeons. Vanilla WoW was all about slow and easy. No rushing. Crowd control and agro management is a must to survive.

Players just have no patients for this kind of progression and Bliz must be aware of it since you get more xp for questing than for doing a random dungeon. Once the group fails now people just start blaming others for their own agro mistakes or they bail figuring the next tank will hold agro better.

The failure isn't that of the players but that of Blizzards for failing to educate players on how to do dungeons. Old world dungeons are cakewalks to level 80's but not for the levels they were originally designed for and players need to understand that. There is a learning curve to this stuff. You can't run in expecting mobs to just fall over at the sight of your proposed just doesn't happen that way.

Another issue that I thought Blizzard had fixed was how boss loot gets rolled on. Before if gear dropped that wasn't for your class you didn't get an option to roll "NEED" just "GREED". Apparently that has changed for those of us trying to level up in the post Cataclysmic world.

Now players are scarfing up any loot they can get their greedy little hands on. Healers roll on DPS gear, Tanks now roll for healing gear and what's worse is that the minute someone rolls against their class type they either get booted, after a lengthy argument or everyone starts doing exactly what the terrible player did and the rolling gets really out of hand. Players start to bitch and the group falls apart. Which isn't a biggie for a healer or a tank who seem to be the main classes breaking the unspoken rule because they get into random dungeons more quickly than the rest of us.

Look I'm cool if a healer wants to roll need on a piece of my gear, but ask me first. Don't be that worthless tool that I'm going to stick on ignore the minute I leave the group by rolling "Need" at the last second on the last boss so you can bail. Your not going to go far in raids with that kind of attitude.

I know people avoid WoW because of this kind if behavior. I don't understand why "This" game attracts asshats but I wish Blizzard would do a better job of discouraging this type of interaction. Figure out s fair system for rolling loot and teach people how to do a dungeon. I mean your messing up my Chi.

Although this has put me off fully enjoying my new WoW experience I am glad to be hanging in there with all the cool new guild mates. You guys make logging in fun and really that's all that really matters.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod