Archive for mmo

Ye Olde Game Journalism Debate

Posted in Editorial with tags , , , on January 10, 2010 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

Psychochild has a new post up about journalistic standards within the video game industry.  I largely agree with these posts, whenever they pop up.  To me journalism is journalism, and the integrity, standards, and legitimacy should cover every aspect of journalism(including writings on video game culture).

I thought it was a good opportunity to share a bit of how I operate and why.  I come from a very academic background in writing.  From that viewpoint, I don’t think I am a very good journalist or reviewer.  I try and feel I’ve come a long way, but still have a long way to go.  I’ve always tried to be at my utmost professional when I wrote for other sites(even when I included snarky humor).  When I represent my self as a journalist, I can be obsessive about grammar and spelling.  This site, however, is my personal platform.  I’ve actually had to work at being more casual with it.  That opens up a lot of room for me to make errors.  Errors in judgment, and grammar have found many places within many of my posts.

As a rule, if I’m writing for someone else, I want to do the best job I can(as a reflection of the job I can do, and upholding standards of writing).

To that end, I probably should take more care and effort in my postings, as it does reflect on who I am and the quality of my writing, but I still defend it by saying that this is my personal blog, and I don’t hold it against other blogs.  In fiction, whenever you are writing dialogue(when you have a character speaking), grammar is not important, and that is how I view it when I write many of my posts.  Many of my posts are streams of thought, so I just go with it.

Reading Psychochild’s post has made me re-evaluate this blog though.  In light of me changing my template and name, I probably will try to achieve a higher quality of writing.

Thanks Psychochild.


Runes of Magic Speed Painting

Posted in Media with tags , , , , , on January 8, 2010 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

THeloveDrunkard uploaded this Runes of Magic speed painting.  There’s something interesting about watching speed painting videos.  You can always learn a bit about drawing and painting by actually watching a talented person doing it….fast.  It’s also great to see some different RoM art mediums popping up on the net.

1,000 Things To Do Before You Log Off

Posted in 1000 things to do before you log off with tags , , on January 3, 2010 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

At the heart of this list is the adage “Stop and smell the roses”. We as MMORPG players have varying styles of game play. Through it all, many times life’s fun little moments can sweep right past us in a flurry of tiny digital leaves. MMORPGs give us giant open virtual worlds with guidelines and activities we can perform. A terrific thing about these games, regardless of these tasks and rules, is that they provide an opportunity for players to create the experience. Some of the most memorable and most enjoyable moments we can have come from running into a group of players dancing or having an in-game “party”, trying to take a great screen shot of a humorous situation, and countless other activities that weren’t prescribed or created by the game’s developers. With that in mind, I present a list of quirky, offbeat, and many times unconventional tasks to perform in your favorite MMORPG that will steer you away from what you are currently doing in-game, but more importantly may enrich your fun. This doesn’t mean you will necessarily enjoy the entire list. If something simply is not fun, no matter how hard you try, simply don’t do it. Remember, the point is to enjoy the game. Whether you do 1 or all the tasks on the list, It should at least provide an enjoyable read and change how you look at, think about, and play MMORPGs.

Create an Uber-Weapon Below Level 10

    To kick off this list, I present an opportunity that may get you a lot of jeers, nay-sayers, and laughing, but it will be fun. There’s always something fun about going against the crowd. This is one that definitely does that. No, you don’t have to give it the same name I did, but you should spend significant time creating a sword, club, hammer, bow, whatever. Pimp it out, but make sure it is under level 10. If the MMORPG you play doesn’t allow this, then just create the lowest level item you can, and make it as powerful as possible. Don’t let the structure of the game start to control how you make it. The idea is to go against the normal. Don’t hold back. You will start to feel a sense of glee from going against the norm, and whether days or weeks, you’ll enjoy every minute of it. Once done, don’t stop there. You’ll want to share this beastly weapon or item with the game community. Now post those screen shots in the forums and wait for all the head scratching responses. You’ll undoubtedly be strongly attached to this item, by the time you finish creating it, but if you are feeling extra daring, and want to take some more time with it, why not post it in the Auction House without telling anyone or posting it in the forums. You may get some interesting whispers or see lots of chatter start to develop in zone chat, as the item gets more views.

The Worst Thing About Free-To-Play MMORPGs Is That They Are Free-To-Play

Posted in Editorial with tags , , , , on January 2, 2010 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

When F2P (Free-T0-Play) MMORPGs hit the scene, players were introduced to some really fun virtual worlds at no cost.  What quickly developed though was a not so fun implosion of Pandora’s Box.

Besides all the benefits of micro-transactions within these MMORPGs, The box that these games were contained in were opened wide to let in a floodgate of negative socio-economic aspects.  Now instead of excepting the nice hermetically sealed contents of the game, we have people from all walks of life and all walk of money able to alter their gaming experience in a similar way they can altar their lives.  The real world has impacted F2P MMORPGs like nothing else before.  If I want to speed up my progression, have an extra pet, or have a permanent mount, I can- if I have the money.

In a weird twist, if you take away the freedom that micro-transactions can provide, players will tend to be more accepting, because beyond what anyone can equally altar within the game, it’s the way the game is built.  It doesn’t mean players won’t complain.  Visit any game’s forum, especially World of Warcraft’s, and you’ll see plenty of people complaining about various ways the game operates.  It is the same, and then some, with F2P MMORPGs.  You’ll have all the regular criticisms and to exacerbate those, you have a whole new plane of complaints brought on about feelings over paying to get what you want.

Perhaps as an unfortunate downside to being free, these MMORPGs have to contend with players being able to bring their real life woes and negative feelings over money into the games.  When players start to look at their gaming experience as it relates to their socio-economic status, well, a lot of negativity can ensue.

From this perspective, how do you try to handle game development?  Or can you even affect it?  Do you even try?  Do any and all complaints that fall under Item Mall complaints get ignored outright?  Because how can anyone expect an MMORPG development team to try and altar game play experiences based on the players socio-economic status?  Some players work 40 hours a week to afford a minimum of in-game purshasable items, while others have near unlimited funds and free time.  Should anyone expect an MMORPG too cater to these diverse situations?  Most micro-transactions are already fairly small, per purchase.  Many games let you spend as little as 5 dollars per purchase to obtain a majority of items in-game.  Beyond that, what can a F2P MMORPG development team do?

I tend to be pretty strict with my opinions on some subjects, but I admit that my opinion(s) may not be the best.  It appears to me, that a micro-transaction based F2P MMORPG affords some fun features, being free to play not the least of them.  But they also shed a lot of responibility that is placed back into the hands of the players.  That, to me, opens up a whole new can of worms that I’m not going to even try to get into with this post.  But I felt it worth mentioning as food for thought.

Hardcore Casual

Posted in Editorial with tags , , , on December 15, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

(Haha, yes I swipe it and turn it into a titular blog post.)

I’ve been thinking about Hardcore Casual while reading a lot lately on raiding.

I may be wrong on different nuances here, please feel free to correct me.

Raiders(hardcore if you will) usually find an instance to farm, loot, gear up, and raid it again. It’s a cycle full of adrenaline junkies, I suppose. It’s fun. I found it fun, intense, and rewarding.

But what seems apparent to me is the ones that only do this, or subscribe heavily to the idea that all an MMORPG is made for, or the pinnacle that an MMORPG can provide, is for high level, end game raiding- even the unknowing player that hasn’t even realized until after 100 instance runs that they are in this cycle. Yes it comes with various forms of baggage. You’ll have elitism, etc… but at its core it’s a very simple pattern that easily excludes many other parts of an MMORPG. Socializing? I don’t think there’s much room for that. Not when you know you’re needing to run 20 raids in the next week and you have X hours to spare. It’s a min/max hardcore world right?

When I look at what these hardcore people are doing, I see something similar to what the majority of the gaming world would call casual.

Casual game play. All those little games on Facebook immediately come to mind. I have a sneaky suspicion that all you Mafia War fanatics tend to love Halo and MMORPG Raiding. And within just MMORPGs, you probably socialize little, just enough to not be overly selfish when that’s all you want to get to the top, because the top is where everyone has to be, right?

That’s almost exactly the definition of casual games. All the Bejeweleds and Peggles of the world, they provide a singular purpose, a cyclic repetition of increasingly harder levels, and expanding time doesn’t fit into the equation either. Reducing time is the only logical step. Getting to the top as quickly as possible is the efficient logical way. Even if fun does not equate to logic, people derive fun in many different ways.

So are you hardcore? or are you casual?

Runes of Magic Lore – Factions: The Eye of Wisdom

Posted in lore with tags , , , , on December 12, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

The Eye of Wisdom is a group dedicated to gathering wisdom about magic and artifacts from the Old Times.

On the old continent “Kolydia” they were on good terms with the emperor’s domicile and other political factions, which brought them significant influence.
When the Time of Discoveries about 100 years ago began, the Grandmaster decided to move the whole organization to the continent of Candara and focus their exploration on the relics of ancient times.

This time is also referred to as “Withdrawal of the Eye of Wisdom” since they broke most of their contacts with Kolydia back then. They gathered many magical artifacts, which helped them to develop powerful spells since the creation of Varanas. The meaning of “Withdrawal” may refer less to the withdrawal from political involvement but rather the establishment of an independent power. In the beginning everything seemed to progress nicely, until 20 years ago when the Grandmaster Ancalon and his elite of their organization disappeared without a trace. For a couple of years the Eye of Wisdom was nearly rendered incapable of acting. Only with the assumption of the post as Grandmaster by Yarandor, the leader of Rune Magic, they returned to activity.

But the influence within the city of Varanas had already been cut radically by the Council and their power and influence in the world was no longer as strong as previously.

The Eye of Wisdom has now overcome the alienation of the world and is anxious to help the people of Varanas. In addition they resurrected multiple research projects and recruit mages from all over the world to push their academic position back to the top.

My Mighty Steed

Posted in RoM Diary with tags , , , , , , on December 11, 2009 by howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg

It’s been 1 year since I stepped foot into the land of Taborea.  I’ve mined my heart out and continue to do so.  Braving the tundra of Ystra, climbing the Mtns and hills of Dragonfang Ridge, all to find the sparkly shiny ore that I long for.  Content to hike or rent a drab horse no longer, I have finally purchased a mighty(permanent) steed.  I couldn’t be happier.

I don’t really have too many issues one way or the other with how I spend my money.  I think RoM has a very nicely run Item Mall.  I find it well balanced and fair.  On top of that, I have fun in so many drastic, and sometimes weird, ways that spending $14 and some change(I’m on the international server set, requiring me to pay Euro to dollar conversion rates which makes things cost slightly higher than US Item Mall counterparts) on a mount is nothing to me.

This is a charity mount where part of the proceeds go to Save the Children.  I also did the equivalent in-game work to earn the diamonds before spending real money, so I really feel rewarded for the work I put in, and I know money I spent will go to help Save the Children.

If you see Mobly jumping around spazzmatically through zones for inordinate amounts of time, you’ll know why.