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The Daily Run

Whatever I feel like writing about!

Author: Maisson

The MMO Spark?

Posted by Maisson Friday March 29 2013 at 1:23PM
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Where did the MMO spark go? I remember seven years ago having that spark. You know that spark, the one that drove you to play the same MMO for years and not be bored. The spark that drove you to research, plan, and theorycraft. That spark that would make you defend the game if someone talks bad about it or sparks a conversation that can last a while if some one mentions it in a positive way. So where did the spark go? Seems I have lost my spark and I have looked everywhere for it even looked where I first found that spark, but alas, no luck.

I found my spark playing none other then World of Warcraft when it first launched. Now I have played other MMO's but nothing captured my attention all that much except WoW. I remember starting my Hunter out on launch day and dealing with queue's and crashes but after a few days and the stability started to happen I started to play. At first it seemed like any other MMO I played such as Galaxies, but after I hit level 10 something changed for me with the game I remember I had a dream about it and I was not the only one, few of my friends also had dreams after level 10. I swear there had to be some kind of subliminal messaging in the game and all the way up to Cataclysm when they redid Azeroth is when I started to loose interest. I think they accidently removed the subliminal messages from the game when they launched Cataclysm.

That spark was something else. I remember playing until 2am and say I need to log off, but I only have 2 bars to level. Well lets keep going and then "ding" new level and it's 4am, time for bed but I really should train so I don't forget and while I am here in Ironforge I should stop by the AH and look what's available for my new level and now I hear birds chirping and it's getting lighter outside. Wow I really need to get to bed. and then it's rinse and repeat in a similar fashion every night just changing the excuse why I need to stay on longer then I should have.

I remember when my account was hacked 3 times and that spark put me in a bad mood for a few days until my account was restored. Always happened when I was working too. At least my brother was home during the day and would contact me asking if I am playing right now and of course I would respond with "no, I am at work. Why?". "I see you character playing and responds to my questions with bad engrish." (yes engrish is what he referred to) Well lets see, now to save my account I told my brother to log into it and change the password and kick the hacker off. By the third time all I would get is a text from my brother with "you at work" and I would say "yeah" and he would respond with "WoW hacked, all set now, call me later for password".

Now I play all kinds of MMO's and when I play some of them at first it almost feels like I will get that spark back, but after a month or two I start to wonder off to play something els or take a break from gaming for a week or two. I sometime will sit in front of a login screen debating if I should play or not and giving myself reasons as to why I should or shouldn't play. Then there are times where I would mouse over the short cuts to different games, but never click on them.

I would love to know what that spark was. Maybe it was the thrill of discovery or the fact an epic which was rare at the time could drop from the next mob, which I need to kill before that person over there does. Maybe it was the drop that would yield me a large amount of gold or that rare pet I could auction off. Maybe it was the sense of accomplishment from leveling or raid completion or boss defeat. I am just not sure and and cannot put my finger on what that spark was or how it worked. One day maybe I will find it again, I just hope it's less powerful after all I am getting older and cannot stay up until 5am anymore.

Did you have that spark? Did you know what it was or why you had it? Have you found that spark again?

The Social Aspect of MMO's

Posted by Maisson Thursday March 28 2013 at 10:32AM
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I always read reviews on MMO's and there is always a section that gets a rating for the social aspect of the game. It does bother every time I read the review and then the comments that follow about how social or not social a game is.

I would like to address this issue and say that you cannot rate a game's social aspect in general. You can only rate the tools given to the players to be social. It is up to the players to be social. Every game has some social options whether or the players utilize them is be seen.

I always read comments on GW2 taking the social aspect away with the ability to help with no tagging or the dungeon finders will group people together and you don't have to advertise LFG (looking for group). He is a crazy idea to all those people complaining about the social aspect of games, walk up to another player and say "Hi". You have a 50% chance you will get a response. Strike up a conversation with someone in private chat or group chat and get to know people. All games give you the tools to do this, but it's up to the players to use them.

I see alot of arguments about game being solo friendly and not forcing players to group makes the game less social then before or then another game in comparison. Really??!! Even if a game forces you to group with others you or the others still need to initiate some form of dialog. Once Dialog has been initiated the game is now more social then it was 5 minutes ago.

Here are some tips to having a more social experience:

1) Say "Hi" to a some that is questing near you.

2) When grouped or forced to group ask how everyone one is doing. The ones that respond with more then one word are the ones you should socialize with.

3) Stop being shy, talk in general chat, talk with guildies, and talk with random people.

4) Asking questions in chat will usually get you flamed by morons, however you will have a few that will answer your questions which will start a dialog.

5) Try to have a goal of making 1 new friend or acquaintance every week or two and keep in touch with them. Try to communicate with them afterwards at least once a week to maintain the communication flow. If you don't want to then remove them from your friends list as they most likely will do the same.

6) Initiate chat with current players on your friends list.

 

If you ever see me in one of the many games I play, say Hi! unless I say "hi" first ;)

Neverwinter Beta Weekend 2 likes and dislikes so far.

Posted by Maisson Tuesday March 12 2013 at 4:28PM
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This past weekend was Cryptic's Neverwinter beta weekend event number two.  I was able to partake in this event. Yes, I actually beta tested the game and reported all bugs I found, roughly 15 or so bugs reported. All minor issues though, everything from grammer in quest text to clipping, so the polish of the game should be very good once released.

My thoughts on the overall game vary widely so far. I did however enjoy the game while I did play, now the only question would be "for how long?". I will go over dislikes first.

Dislikes:

There is only one starting zone, even though when creating my character I was able to select where they are from and why they are there such as escaped refugee and so forth, which I thought was going to be a starting area to go along with my story. So I did find that the tutorial area gets old after the second charater and yes I did try all four. You would think with this being a D&D game there would have a been a few starting areas available based on your selection of where you are from.

No matter what gear I changed  it looked the same. Same model for gear makes a lot duplicate characters running around as far as gear look goes.

Only one weapon style per class. Enough said.

Tutorial area is all map travel when going to different parts fo the city. If you have played Dragon Age then you will know what I am referring to.

There was no real story line up front so I did not know why I was washed up to shore other then my ship was distroyed and I was off to become a hero that everyone with some task needed help with.

I found it disappointing in the city that not a whole lot of NPC's talk to each other although it seemed alot were having staring contests.

Once you accepted a quest and later looked at the journal you could not see what would be rewarded to you upon completion so it made it hard to see what my upgrade would be vs what items were for sale from a vendor.

Dodging does not cancel current ability being used.

Farming materials requires you to have kits either from drops or from vendors.

Only 5 classes?????!!!!!!!!!

Now my likes:

Graphics are very nice. I found myself stopping and looking at thc scenery from time to time.

Voice overs from NPC's you speak to is a great added touch. I think SWTOR should have went this route with doing their voice over cutscenes to just voice over text reading and add mutiple choice answers would have allowed them to focus on more of the over all game. Other games may want to take note of this as well as it was a nice change to listen to them.

Quick cut scence in instances to introduce bosses or main characters is nice.

Customization has many options available except for gear iteslf. You can select premade looks or customize yourself. You will start with a list of options such as hair style/color, scars, tattoos, to actually adjusting sizes of your body parts using the slider method.

The combat is great. I enjoyed it enough to not get bored killing everything in my path. Although there were times when I was pressing my left mouse button to attack the target in front of me and it kept saying no target selected, apperantly my crosshairs were slightly above the mob, oops.

Gear in your bag will show a "recommended" if it will be better then your currently equipped gear. Makes for switching gear very easy instead of trying to decide which is better for your character.

When helping a random person at attacking a mob you may also receive drops. I found I did get some decent drops from attacking already tagged mobs, however I do not recall if I received any XP.

Foundry will allow for alot of gameplay and updates. Allowing players to create instances will allow the Cryptic to create updates at a good pace and finish it in a timely manner then releasing early because of players complaining there is nothing to do. The players creating the foundry will remain busy using the creation tool.

having the ability to turn on or off the quest path. I had mine off unless it came to the point that I was compleatly lost and turned it on like turnng on a GPS when needed.

 

I wil say that I did get lost in game versus reality as I realized on Friday night that it was 3:30am. This has not happened since vanilla WoW days. I did have a lot fun playing all in all and I would enjoy playing more currently, but I do feel there is plenty of room for improvement such as add ing more classes.

Once I can play the full game I will give it a full review.

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