Archive for July, 2009

More updates from the unemployment line

Posted in General with tags on July 30, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

Well, out of the past month, I’ve recieved one call back.  But so far it looks promising.

I had an interview, and I felt it went really well.  They said it may be up to a week before I hear anything though.

I’m roughly estimating, based on if I get the job, another 3 weeks before I’ll be back to writing.

As a note, writing as a profession can be very very….very hard.  It’s something I’ve been working towards for over 5 years now, so I’m not giving up.

I’ll be back as soon as I can.


My Internet Is Still the Way of the Dodo

Posted in General with tags , on July 24, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

I’m still working hard to get my internet back up and running.  Money is so tight right now.  I am just writing this to give an update(from my local library).

So please hang tight, and (if I’m lucky) I’ll be back before you know it.

Still Down But Not Out

Posted in RoM Diary on July 15, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

I’m working on getting service back as quickly as I can.  I’m sorry for the inconvenience, and hope you are still here when I get back, because I’ll have plenty of new MMORPG commentary.

I look forward to “seeing” you all when I return.

Again, I sincerely apologize and am upset that I let anyone down, but I will be back as soon as I can.

Thank you.

Apologies For My Short Absence.

Posted in General with tags , on July 12, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

I’ve had a small “hiccup” with my ISP and I’ll have scatchy connectivity for the next few days to couple weeks.

I sincerely apologize for this and not being able to update my blog daily.

I will take care of the issue ASAP.

Thank you for understanding.

When Subscription Meets RMT

Posted in Editorial with tags , , , on July 10, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

EVE Online and EQ2 have allowed legally sanctioned trading of characters and real money for a little while now; Vanguard started offering the ability to sell characters, items, and in-game gold on an official website; what could easily be called the first Western triple A title to be micro transaction only: Star Wars The Old Republic is reported to go RMT instead of subscription based; and Tom Chilton of Blizzard gave a vague answer that WoW could quite possibly add micro-transactions to WoW.

There well may be more examples that I haven’t located, in other subscription based MMORPGs.

I’m sorry but the little obstinate prude keeps wanting to poke his horns out whenever I see arguments debates over RMT and say:

Pull your head out of that dark hole.  You apply very flimsy arguments, either for or against RMT, that could never work as you usually only use your feelings as “proof” which doesn’t work.  On top of that, there are so many variables(see: thousands and thousands) that to even formulate an argument on any basis of comparison is futile and illogical.

  • You’d have to first create set variables but that would extremely limit the player base you are arguing against.
  • Most people who don’t pay are the ones who care so little that they aren’t even commenting(quite possibly they aren’t even aware of this debate within the community).
  • A percentage of people complaining are still paying.  They put so much importance on it.  They feel it is important to “compete” with the other people they think are paying, because the things they believe they get out of it are the important things to them in-game, so they may not like it but they are still paying.

I play Runes of Magic on Smacht(PvP) server.  I’m not a big PvPer but I like the option of having it.  I do like to participate once in awhile, and it’s a fun addition to me, that I don’t want to go without in a PvE server.  So I like having that option, even if I hardly ever partake.

I have a handful of friends, in-game, that are top of their class in the server.  None of them have paid a dime.  They are feared, honored, and to some(see: me) respected a bit for having obtained top-class status with insane gear and enhancements without ever paying real money.

You’d have to first create variables:

You could set “walls” up.  You could say, of the people that want the status of being level cap and having the best gear possible and being the best at PK or PVP, it’s hard to compete with payers.

For starters, I’m sorry to break this to you, but you are in the minority.  I’ve said this before but- one look at any MMORPGs servers will show you theirs more PvE servers and those servers are typically fuller than PvP servers.

Even if you only considered PvP or said that even in PvE these player want the best, you are still in the minority.  Regardless of server, There are more casual players online at any given time, than “hardcore” players.  Another statement I’ve made many times is the analytical report about WoW that states 55% of all players will never see 85$ of the game’s content.

Complainers are still paying:

This is utterly mind bottling.  You disagree but you still pay because you feel you have to?  Choice is choice.  Any attempt at arguing it simply makes you look bad.  That’s not a jab.  That’s a helpful tip of life.  Your welcome.  If you disagree but still want to pay to compete, go to a subscription game.  You obviously have the money.

“Buying” the best gear:

I’ve played just about every F2P game currently on the market sans a couple that came out in the last month.  What game sells gear?  To my mind everyone is arguing this, which would make you think it’s beyond obvious yet, I can’t think back to a game that sold any gear-at all.

I do know they sold many things that did lead to imbalance arguments.  I love Shaiya, but PvP is hard because at any given time, I get ganked by players who are using an item called “NOS” that they paid for which increases their crit rate or other attributes for a set time.

There are other games selling similar items.  But refresh my memory, does any game actually sell gear?

RMT is the future baby, so either join in and like it, or get left out in the cold:

RMT is the second biggest selling business model in the video game industry, second only to the casual game market.

RMT is steadily going up and up with no signs yet of slowing down.

It’s the way things are going.  If players didn’t like it, there wouldn’t be so much success.

Now we have subscription games incorporating RMT, because they know they can make rediculous amounts of money off the players.


Personally, I could almost care less.  As long as I have the option, I’m happy.  I have the freedom of choice.  Don’t take my freedoms away from me, and I’m usually happy.  I don’t care what anyone else does, as long as I have my choice(and don’t try to say payers are taking my choice away-my points above apply to this and many many other concepts).

I’m not a business man, and don’t want to be.  I want to have fun, and am.  I’m having a ton of fun in my favorite MMORPG: Runes of Magic.  No one with better gear is going to cause me to have less fun, even if I want to PvP.

Here’s a little more life help.  No one can make you bored.  It’s true and something you’ll learn if you go to college.  YOU react how YOU choose to react.  Apart from someone kidnapping you or taking your human rights away(and no any in-game actions can not take your human rights away from you), it is your choice how you react to something.  It’s not anyone elses fault if you react angrily or happily or a sadly, etc…

The tide will always go out and come back in but will never go away becaue this is no more than a fanboy war where there is no winner.  It’s no different than the fanboy wars over which console is better.  Isn’t it better to have both consoles?  Doesn’t that just benefit all players?

At the true heart of this RMT debate, isn’t anything on the games side.  It’s on your side.  It’s your responsibility.  You can have fun, or walk away, decide.

Dear Diary: Today I Killed 50 rats, Tomorrow I Will Kill 100 Kobolds

Posted in General with tags , , , , , on July 9, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

Many people, at different forums posted some very amusing responses to my post on writing a book for a free to play game.

Although amusing I was wondering how much of it was from not really seeing how a book could be written from a free-to-play MMORPG.

While it may be true that many F2P MMORPGs have thinner, watered down story lore, in most cases it’s still fairly good.

This also plays into my previous topic of how Runes of Magic told story lore slightly different than other MMORPGs I’ve played(whether RMT or subscriber based).

To diverge off-topic a moment:]

I recalled some nights playing Runes of Magic where I was compelled to go over low level quests.  I realized I was spending many hours and many nights without really leveling(more horizontal gameplay?) yet I couldn’t stop.  I found a stronger pull to actually read the quest objective text, and hurry back after completion to read more text.  It’s more of how RoM has cleverly incorporated good story telling into an old system(I’ll be making another post on how RoM has decieved us all with ingenius developement).

But I digress:

I intended to write the story much in the way anime fans write their fanfriction these days.  Back in the day, it’d be fanfaction based off the old pen-and-paper roleplaying games like D&D.

You don’t really write out things that boil down to mechanics.  For instance, If I have to do a quest where I kill 10 kobolds and return, I won’t just “write” that.

I cast fireball, wait 3 seconds for it to cast, and kill a kobold, I move on to the second one.

No, I of course would liven it up, it is afterall supposed to be a living “real” world”

I heard a low growl coming from somewhere behind me.  I spun around in time to catch a kobold to the throat.  I was able to maintain my footing while prying him off. Blood trickled down my neck like beads of sweat in mid summers day.  Luckily he didn’t take a pound of flesh with him.  Throwing him on the ground gave me the time I needed to concentrate.  He barely had time to get up and start for me when I said two of my favorite words in my arsenal frying him into a crispy critter.

Now that may not be as good as it coud be, but gives you an idea of “translating” a game into a story.

Another example:

I had bought a book years ago for D&D.  It was only 200 pages and part of a small side-series(about 6 books).  If you’ve read any of them, you know they were specifically intended to be “written adventures”.

The written adventures were to paint the picture that the books had been adventures that real people had playing the game, and then took that game they played and wrote a book out of it.

I found a link to one of those books, with a sample chapter in PDF included, so you can have a very good idea of the writing style I’m shooting for with Runes of Magic.

The Living Dead

My Runes of Magic Book: Plot Established(EDIT)

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

I’m still going to use the generic fantasy template I found, but most of the plot will be laid out for me to just “colorize”- so to speak.

I kept thinking of how I should write a story that could involve NPCs, mobs, bosses, and the like in the World of Taborea, and I remembered the Epic Quest Chains.

There are currently 2 Epic Quest Chains in Runes of Magic, that are quite long and take you to every zone.  I believe they are designed to continue clear up to level cap, and some spots require groups to complete.

I decided to write the book on the 2nd Chain Quest.  Perhaps the first Epic Quest Chain would be more fitting as it was developed first, but I didn’t do the first Epic Quest Chain yet, plus I really enjoyed the Second Chain.

So I also have a title for my book(the title of the Epic Quest Chain).

Runes of Magic: The Seductive Dark Pearl

It has a rather pirate-like sound to it, and if I remember correctly it does end in Ravenfell(where the pirates are).

The first Epic Chain may do as a better first introduction into the World of Taborea, and I may go back to it.  But I have a quirky love for out-of-order story telling.  Besides, it would still fit correctly in a time-line, if I decided to later right a book on the first Epic Quest Chain.

Now I have:

  • Title- Runes of Magic: The Seductive  Black Pearl
  • Plot- The second Epic Quest Chain in Runes of Magic
  • Main Character- Abernacky Anvilslayer

I need to flesh out my main character.  I’m following my template’s lead but expanding it a bit by coming up with 2-3 positive qualities, and 1-2 negative qualities.

So far I thought- He starts the story as a low-level Warrior/Mage, with high levels in Armorcraft and Alchemy.

Good Qualities:

  • Good Morals: He may grumble like a dwarf a lot, but he usually opts to help people and do the right thing.
  • Exceptional Armorcraft as well as a good Alchemist

Bad Qualities:

  • Sensitive about his short height
  • A bit Anit-Social

I’m open to suggestion.  Actually I would love suggestions/advice/help.

Edit:’s handy RoM database helped me find the entire chain of quests for the 2nd Epic Quest Line: The Seductive Black Pearl

It goes up to 43 with the last quest saying it requires level 36 to complete.

I will be reading through the whole line and using it as my outline.

My initial thought is an average of 5 pages text per quest(yeilding 215 pages) would be good.

More “userbars”

Posted in RoM Diary on July 8, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

I found some more interesting and cool userbars that I’m adding to my collection for possible use as “tagging” posts to quickly Identify the “gist” of my posts so readers aren’t wasting their time.  Although, how could reading anything I write be a waste of time?

Commentary on Massively Speaking #60

Posted in Editorial with tags , , , , , , , on July 8, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

Massively Speaking is an MMORPG podcast that this week talks some about “redefining MMOs”, “Runes of Magic” as well as other current events.

Their “redefining MMOs” series is interesting, and I actually wrote a piece that hits on that subject, while pointing to a possible evolution of where MMORPGs may be headed in the future (see Gamebunny Article).

More directly to Massively’s first article on the terminology.  I feel the social terms that have developed naturally are still sufficient:

  • MMO
  • Etc…

I think those are very adequate to describe online games.  I think the focus is on how the person uses those terms.  I always try to be careful in delineating between just MMO or MMORPG when I’m discussing games.

I think there may be changes in terminology and how we should be using it, but I think the heart of it is that the terms are being shaped by the small, recent evolutionary changes that many genre of MMOs are undergoing and players perceptions on how they are deriving fun from MMORPGs.

  • Casual based like Freerealms are becoming popular
  • MMORPGs are inserting more horizontal gameplay that resembles activities in other virtual worlds like Second Life.

The player base seems to slowly be evolving as they are changing how they get fun out of these games.  There’s still raiding and gear grinding, and will always be those focuses in a game.  But as a whole I think players are starting to explore more how they are having fun, out of a desire to want(or need) something new.

Games like Everquest, that’s been around for 10 years, may be around for another 10.  Players who want nothing but arena PvP and raiding for gear will always find joy in World of Warcraft.  The fact that WoW has the largest player base shows these player perceptions aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

On the other side though, games like Everquest have been slowly adding massive amounts of horizontal gameplay with player housing and crafting.  Freerealms is garnering much attention with their very casual atmosphere and mni-games.  Runes of Magic and EVE online have slowly but steadily been getting more players as time goes by and both these games offer a lot that isn’t directed toward reaching level cap, and raiding for gear.

It will be interesting to see where this progression takes MMORPGs and other MMOs in the next 10 years.

MMORPG “userbars”

Posted in General with tags , on July 7, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

Userbars are like skinnier(streamlined) forum signature pictures. Here’s a handful to look at.

I love ’em.  They appeal to my design side.  I used to do quite a bit of graphic design, in my day.

It definitely causes me to home in on the graphics side of any MMORPG I play.

I also like the userbars as a double for line breaks.

I may start using them at the beginning of posts to help quickly identify which game that I am talking about, in my posts.

Of course, if it takes too long or I’m just in a big hurry….I’ll see.