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Rollo talks games. (And Pie)

Just another gamer pretending to know what he's talking about.

Author: Rollotamasi

Indie Dev's, Quality over OMGWTFBBQ Visuals.

Posted by Rollotamasi Tuesday March 31 2009 at 1:58PM
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There are very few types of games that I don’t enjoy. I will play just about anything. MMO’s, 1st person/3rd person shooters, strategy, RPG’s, puzzle. It doesn’t really matter as long as the game play is there. To me, graphics are about as important as a warm bucket of hamster vomit. I know that others feel different but I think that most of my fellow “Old guys” probably fall somewhere along the same lines as I do. A game done all in text can be superior to any dx10 monster out there if the game play is the primary driving force.

The reason I have been thinking about this lately is actually twofold. I read a article on Slashdot that more or less said “The average cost to develop a game (It didn’t state MMO/Non-MMO) is around 10 million dollars”. Wow, That is a lot of money in today’s economic crisis. Secondly, I have been playing a game called Mount and Blade which as far as I am concerned is one of the best gaming experiences I have had in the last 10 years.

Here is some interesting information about Mount and Blade. It was for all intents and purposes developed by 2 people. It only cost 29.99 as opposed to the standard 49.99-59.99 average of most games today. Between the game its self and the modding community there is a metric crap ton of content. The downside is that the graphics are definitely not great (Which as previously stated…remember, hamster vomit and such…).

I could be wrong but somehow I doubt this game will ever show up on a top 10 list unless it’s a indie dev list. I doubt it will ever sell a million copies. But the thing is, it doesn’t matter. The game was made by TWO people! They don’t have a ton of costs to recoup. They don’t have to have X amount of subs. They don’t have a huge staff to pay. And frankly, I hope this is the future of the gaming market! And giving the current economic crisis this very well may be where the industry is heading.

A common complaint about games is lack of originality. For the most part I agree. I currently have a subscription to WaR however I generally only play once or twice a week. I am however looking forward to a MMO. Fallen Earth. Guess what…INDIE COMPANY. Original ideas. Once again I will admit that the graphics aren’t top notch but I don’t think I need to mention again what I think about graphics. The game is being produced by a small company which again keeps their costs down.

Some of the most popular games on Steam are under 19.99 and are categorized as Indie titles. A lot of these are made by one person or a small group. Low costs, high quality game play, lower quality visuals. In my opinion gamers are starting to wake up a bit and are starting to understand that bleeding edge visuals mean nothing without compelling game play.


I think Age Of Conan is a great example of this.

Disclaimer – I don’t think AoC is a bad game. I never played it myself. However my entire guild from WaR came over from AoC and they all pretty much say the same thing. “Best looking game I ever played!!!….was sick of it in two weeks”. Good looking games that have no game play are like a really hot girl friend that you hate. Sure she is fun to look at, but she’s a bitch, whines to much and general makes your life a living hell. If your willing to stick it out with her just for some quality arm candy then more power to you. I for one much prefer the slightly less hot girl that I actually like.

Don’t me wrong. There are always going to be major studios around and big budget titles. I however think in the next few years you are going to see a lot more releases from small indie type developers and if all goes well, I hope…I PRAY they will start getting more attention because they are putting out a quality product. Then maybe some of the large studios will get the picture.


Oh, and one other thing. I almost never buy a game before gametrailers.com does a review on it. I like to actually be able to SEE what I am getting instead of just watching trailers. I was kind of interested in “Wanted, Weapons of Fate” The previews looked pretty decent, the move was decent. Then I watched the game trailers review and they stated the game was about 5 hours in length. You have to got be f’ing kidding me. You want me to shell out 50 bucks on a 5 hour game?? I know it cost you a crap ton of money to make the game, but I don’t think there is a game in the world I would pay 10 dollars an hour to play.
 

God Help Me, I Have Become “That Guy”

Posted by Rollotamasi Friday November 21 2008 at 10:00AM
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Well, Maybe I am not quite there yet but I think I am getting closer. Perhaps I should explain. I spend a decent amount of time on MMORPG.com. It’s a slow time for the IT industry so I have to keep my self occupied somehow. While I read a good many posts I don’t really post ALL that often. Anyone who reads posts here knows there are certain groups of “people”. You have the SWG haters, The DF vaportrolls/rabid fanboys, The “WoW is the greatest game ever even though it’s the only game I have ever played” crowd and so on.

Then there is the group that I feel like I am unwillingly becoming a part of. While I don’t think they really have a established name I am going to refer to them as the “malcontents”. This group generally holds to the philosophy that the MMO market in general has gone to crap and everything coming out is just un-inspired rubbish (IE WoW Clone). Malcontents think developers basically just remake WoW because it is the safe bet and have no interest in innovation and moving the genre forward.

Now here is my problem. I started gaming when I was about 15. I am now 29. My first MMO was Anarchy online. I played it for about 3 years on and off. I followed this up with FFXI, WoW, EQ2, EVE (Which I still play) and most recently WaR. What I am trying to figure out is if I am truly becoming a malcontent or if I am simply out growing gaming (Or at least outgrowing MMO’s) Or if the industry in general is maturing and innovating but I as a gamer am just to impatient.

Anarchy Online was fresh and new. I had never played a MMO. FFXI was basically the same game but I think I didn’t notice as much because I have always loved the final fantasy universe. I played WoW for about 18 months. I think the reason it stayed fairly interesting is I had never really been exposed to PvP or raiding. EvE is just a totally different beast and more or less impossible to really describe but I can say without a doubt it was like nothing I had ever played before and why I still play it today. Then there is WaR.

With WaR I know have that “Been there, Done that” feeling. But I don’t really blame that on WaR. I really had the same feeling in EQ2 and would probably have it in LOTRO, AoC, etc. I liked WaR but it only held me for about a month. To be honest, I don’t really blame anyone. But I do have to question myself. Does a genre that is so ruled by fairly tight constraints because of it’s nature really have anything left to show me? Each game I have played other then WaR showed me something new. Whether that was the genre in general, raiding and PvP, PvP with a harsh penalty or the chance to play in a universe I have loved forever.

I look at the malcontents and I do agree that the genre feels stale and lacks any major innovation but I have to ask, Is the problem with the games or is it with the gamers themselves? Are we asking to much from such a young industry?

Take for example the car. The Ford model T was released to the public in 1909. It is now 2008 and we are driving the same car. Sure, over the years it has gotten better but at its core a car is still the same as it was in 1909. Four wheels, a steering wheel, seats, etc. Sure, the wheels have gotten better but they are still wheels. Seats have gotten more comfy but they are still just seats. The auto industry took a idea and improved on it but that idea is still the same as it was in 1909. It has just had almost 100 years of polish.

To some extent I feel that it is unfair to expect so much innovation out of the MMO industry in such a short period of time. While I know there were games that came before it I am for the purpose of this post going to say that the MMO genre got it’s real start in 1997 with the release of ultima online. That’s 11 years. In reality, that’s not a long time for a industry to mature and innovate.

Love it or hate it WoW was the last major innovation in MMO’s. They took PvE, PvP and Raiding and made it accessible to mass groups of people. That is a innovation regardless of how much you hate the game. So the MMO genre had it’s last major innovation in 2004. While I want innovation as much as the next guy I also have to look at the fact that 4 years REALLY isn’t that long.

In closing. I think everyone is both right and wrong. I think the industry does feel stale because of a lack of innovation but I think we as gamers are to impatient and to expect such major innovation from such a young industry isn’t fair.
 

PSA. WaR Healers and YOU!

Posted by Rollotamasi Wednesday October 8 2008 at 9:29AM
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I admit. There are a lot of healers that don’t heal in scenarios and RvR. Well, that’s not entirely correct. They are healing, they just aren’t healing you. They are healing themselves. I don’t understand this. I don’t understand why you would role a class that is geared for group support yet not try to perform that function. BUT, it’s your dime. Play your class the way you want to play it. What I am about to talk about doesn’t really pertain to bad healers. It pertains to healers that actually WANT to heal you and it pertains to the people that want to get healed. It also pertains to the people that may not have gotten a heal and are considering complaining about the lack of heals either to who they think the offending healer is or in /scenariosay.

My main is a warrior priest. If you were to ask my guild I would guess they would tell you that I am a “good healer” I rolled a WP understanding that it was a healer. I understood that generally if I was in a group my role would be to heal. That’s not to say that I can’t melee as well. I have several great skills that do good healing because I am hitting something. That being said, before you commit yourself to complaining about a healer or complaining you yourself aren’t getting healed you should ask yourself the following questions.


Question 1. Are you getting your ass kicked? I don’t mean one person is hitting you. I mean your something like a bright wizard and there are 5 marauders beating on you. At that point I can’t save you. Not even god can save you. Your going to die and my trying to keep you alive is a waste of heals that could be going to someone that isn’t doomed.

Question 2. Am I getting MY ass kicked? If I am getting beat on then the only person that is going to be getting healed is me. If I die that means no heals for anyone. The one exception to this is I may throw a group heal while getting beat on. That’s because I am concerned with healing myself so I can stay alive to heal you.

Question 3. Are you out of range? If I am standing in the back ranks and you sprint of into the enemies back ranks there is a good chance you are now out of my range. No, I will not move up to heal you. I am in the back ranks for a good reason. Probably because there are three sorcerers on the other team PRAYING that I move into range.

Question 4. Do you think I’m not healing you because I am hitting something? This goes more for WP’s. I have 2 skills that require me to hit something for them to work. One is my highest single target heal and the other heals all allies within 20 feet of my devensive target every time it lands. Don’t assume because I am fighting something that I am trying to be a DPS n00b.

Question 5. Are you ranged DPS and I’m trying to heal a tank? My primary concern in a scenario is keeping our tanks alive. If there is only one healer in a group and there is a tank you should be asking yourself this question. Yes, I have HOT’s and will use them on you whenever I can. But keep in mind it takes a lot to keep a tank up when they are getting hit by multiple enemies.

Question 6. How many healers are in the scenario? If there are any less then 3 then the chances of anyone other then a tank getting regular heals is pretty slim. Don’t complain to me, complain to people that don’t play healers. Again, I have HOT’s and I will throw them on you when I can but keep in mind that this is not always possible.

Question 7. Are you chasing someone? I don’t mean chasing down the witch elf that is trying to kill one of our back row casters. I mean that marauder that is fleeing that is at 30 percent health and your thinking “FREE KILL WOOT!!!” and you chase them ½ way across the map. Then you probably run into him but now he has a tank with him and you die. Then you wonder why I wasn’t there to heal you. I’m not splitting my self off from the group so you can get a kill.

Question 8. Are you a dick? Have you made a comment about crappy healing. Have you called me or another healer a noob. This is a really good way to NOT get heals. On the other hand saying something like “Hey, I know we are short on healers but if you get time during the battle can you throw a heal or two my way?” is going to put you on the TOP of my priority list for heals right after myself and the tank.

Remember. There are bad healers just like there are bad tanks and bad kittens. Don’t assume just because you didn’t get healed that the healer in your group “is teh suck”.

This has been a public service announcement sponsored by Healers of WaR local 157.
 

DPS Balance, WTF…

Posted by Rollotamasi Tuesday October 7 2008 at 12:44PM
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Maybe I’m just old school. Maybe I over think stuff. But it seems that the DPS balance in WaR is just…well for lack of a better term “Jacked”. First off, I think damage in MMO’s in general is out of control. When you get to a point where any class is getting 2 shotted by any other class then you have a problem. You should never at any point be able to remove ½ of someone’s health in one attack. I don’t care If it’s a fire mage in WoW or a bright wizard in war. Damage in MMO’s today is …. Well “Jacked”.

To keep things simple I am going to stick with 4 archetypes. Healer, tank, ranged DPS and melee DPS. Yes, I understand those aren’t the only archetypes in games and there are hybrids and such but like I said. For the sake of discussion I would like to keep this fairly simple. These are what the basic descriptions of these classes SHOULD be.

Tank – High mitigation. Low DPS
Healer – Low mitigation. Low DPS
Ranged DPS – Low mitigation. High DPS
Melee DPS – Low mitigation (But better then ranged DPS and healers) The best damage.

Melee DPS should be the best damage because they are in the most danger when doing their job. The fact that they have the best damage is balanced by the fact that they can’t take a lot of abuse.

Tank DPS should suck. Why? Because you traded it to that guy on the corner for survivability. You are a pita to kill but you are going to hit things like a school girl with a waffle ball bat.

Healers DPS should suck. Why? Because you traded for your ability to help your team. You mitigation should suck. You traded it for you healing. A tank should be watching your back.

Ranged DPS should be second in damage. No, NOT first. Your annoyed because you mitigation is low? RANGE is your mitigation. Why should you get to deal as much damage as a melee class when getting to do it from 100 times the distance?

This is the way things should be. It’s simple balance. Unfortunately this isn’t the way things seem to work in WaR. I love WaR. I have multiple characters and enjoy the game a lot. But whoever was in charge of balancing DPS most have been smoking a LOT of REALLY good pot.

Bright wizards and sorcs (ranged classes) out damaging melee classes. No. I say again, NO. When I ranged class is ending a scenario with 60 percent more damage then a melee class there is a problem. NO. This is NOT due to survivability. I have followed our witch hunters around doing nothing but healing them. They will end up with no deaths at the end of the round and STILL be out damaged by a ranged class that died 4 times. DPS balance in WaR needs to be looked at and it needs some MAJOR adjusting on BOTH sides.
 

FFXI, Almost everything I hate about MMO’s in one package.

Posted by Rollotamasi Tuesday June 10 2008 at 11:38AM
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If I were to try to make a list of things that I DON’T want in a MMO I could point at FFXI and say “Pretty much that”.  Totally group centric, harsh death penalty, travel is a absolute nightmare, game play was totally GRINDTASTIC.  The totally #&$$#@ up part is that it is by far, hands down, without a doubt my FAVORITE MMO I have ever played.   Kind of odd isn’t it?  There were so many things that I hated about FFXI  but it was the little things that made me not care. 

 

The music.  FFXI has the best music I have ever heard in a MMO.  I used to love arriving in Juno just to hear that music.  It is the only MMO music that I can still hear clearly in my head. I haven’t played FFXI in 4 years and I can still hum the toon and it still makes me tap my foot.  There is a reason the FF series is known for great music, FFXI is no exception.  In addition I can still hear the music from the Mithra zone.  The name escapes me at the moment.

 

Unique classes.  There are actually several things I loved about the classes in FFXI. One is that they were unique and the other is that they actually had clearly defined roles.  I’ll start with the latter.  I think this is something that is missing from today’s MMO’s.  Classes actually having a ROLE.  Seems like now days every class is a sword swinging, robe wearing, nuke casting, healing crack mage.  There was something oddly comforting about getting into a group in FFXI and KNOWING what I was supposed to do.  I played 2 classes.  Samurai and red mage.  When I played my red mage I knew my job was to keep refresh up on the casters,  help heal the tank if he got low and magic burst when I could.  While it seems simplistic there was something enjoyable about it.

 

Samurai, summoner, black mage.  While in retrospect this classes are really just run of the mill MMO classes they just FELT different in FFXI.  A black mage didn’t feel like just another wizard.  A samurai didn’t feel like just another damage dealer.  Because each class had a defined role they tended to feel unique.  Black mage was THE magic damage dealer.  Hands down, no questions asked.  It wasn’t like todays MMO’s where 8 classes fill the same role.

 

SLOW ass progression.  You might go 10 levels without getting a new ability.  But for some reason that made getting that new ability a lot more exciting.  I remember when I first got meditate on my samurai and refresh on my red mage.  It felt like I had actually accomplished something.  A feeling I have never gotten since (With exception of maybe eve when I got done training a long skill).  Now days it seems like you get a new ability or upgrade every level.  It just doesn’t have the same rewarding feeling.

 

Fishing.  Fishing in FFXI has to be the most repetitive mini game EVER created.  It basically boiled down to hitting a button and waiting.  Rinse, wash and repeat.  But for some reason I LOVED fishing.  I kept my account active for 4 months after I technically quit the game just to fish.  I used to love putting on my fishing gear and spending hours simply sitting on the Bastok bridge.   The only thing that could have made it better would have been if they put a cooler of miller high life in the game.  This is the type of side activity that today’s MMO’s really need to try to match.  Something else to do in game that is just plain “cool”.

 

If there is a gaming feeling that I have spent the last years trying to find again, It is FFXI.  It is the only game world that I can honestly describe as truly memorable.   From the races, to the zones, to the classes.  I loved this game.  I hope the next SE mmo doesn’t deviate to far from the formula.

The problem isn't AoC, It's todays design philosophy.

Posted by Rollotamasi Saturday June 7 2008 at 4:35PM
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I don’t consider myself a “throwback” type of gamer.  What I mean is that when I look at a game today I don’t judge it on games from the past.  “This game sucks because it doesn’t do things like XYZ game did”  That being said I think MMORPG’s have moved in a direction that is harmful to themselves.  I think there is a reason why games like Anarchy online, Everquest, FFXI and such have a fairly stable fan base and most newer games don’t. 

 

When WoW first came out I was playing FFXI.  Before FFXI I had been playing AO for about three years.  When I left AO for FFXI it was a HARD decision.  I actually put a lot of thought into it.  When I left FFXI for WoW I did the same.  I had a genuine attachment to my trader in AO and my samurai in FFXI.  I wasn’t attached to them simply because they were “cool” or fun to play.  I was attached to them because I had put a @#*$ load of time and effort into them.  They were like that 68 mustang in the garage that you spent years restoring.  Once you were finished you didn’t WANT to sell it.  Even if some new flashy model came out you still wanted the one you put all the time in effort into.    

 

A few years ago a MMO character was something to be proud of (In game). Being high lvl would get you a certain lvl of e-props because it took actual effort to get there.  Now days being high/max lvl means nothing because it takes a massive 2 weeks to get there.  There is no feeling of accomplishment where there is no effort.  Players don’t think twice about leaving a game because there is no attachment to their toon because it took no effort to get that toon to where it is.

 

Don’t get me wrong.  There is a reason that MMO’s have moved in this direction and the reason for the most part is legitimate.  As the gaming demographic has gotten older they have less time because of things like family and jobs and such.  It’s natural for the industry to move to a more accessible model. Hence the death of the 20 minute corpse run and the massive experience penalty for death.  But it is my opinion that the pendulum has swung TO far.

 

In games coming out in today’s market it is possible to reach max level in a few weeks.  There is no longer any accomplishment in capping out.  There is no accomplishment in getting a nice piece of gear because you lvl so fast it will be replaced in a day or two.  All of this leads to players becoming bored quickly and makes developers rush out more and more raid contend to try to keep their subscription numbers up. 

 

It’s not just that the gaming demographic has grown up.  That’s only about half the reason why design philosophy has changed.  The other problem is that the younger gamers are more impatient.  They have more of a instant gratification philosophy.  They tend not to see the journey and simply look at the finish line.  I spend a good amount of time reading the forums here on MMORPG.com and it never fails.  I see TONS of threads “How long to max lvl??!!?”. 

 

I read a AoC review thread a few days ago on these forums and the title was something like “Lvl 70 somethingoranother, My opinions on the game”.  And I just thought to myself ‘Dude… lvl 70….are you kidding…”.  It’s like walking into a high end steak house and ordering a 10oz kobe beef  sirloin medium rare and the second they put it on the table you just begin stuffing your face and finish it in 1 minute flat without even chewing.   Sure, Your not hungry any more but you could have just walked into burger kink and ordered a whooper and accomplished the same thing.

 

I guess at this point I am now speaking directly to game developers and the younger generation of PC gamers.  To the devs – The reason you are having to scramble to put out and expansion to your games ever 2 months is because they are too bloody EASY.  If you stop catering to the 14 year old twitch xbox owner that has a heart attack if they don’t kill something every 30 seconds then your games will have a LOT more longevity.  This will bring costs down for you as the dev because you don’t have to develop new content every week and it will give you happier customers because you have more time and funds to devote to things such as fixing bugs.

 

To the 14 year old twitch xbox owner that has a heart attack if they don’t kill something every 30 seconds- CALM THE (#*$ down.  Lay off the red bull and just try relaxing and enjoying a game for once. 

AoC, The Hooters of MMO’s.

Posted by Rollotamasi Tuesday May 27 2008 at 8:26AM
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There I was.  Standing in line at EB Games with a AoC box in hand.  While I generally don’t buy a game without a trial or demo I figured I would give it a shot if for nothing else then to remind me why I don’t buy games without a trial or a demo.  I hand the guy behind the counter the box and he says.  “Dude, This game kicks ass”.   I was starting to get a bit excited.  You can read all the reviews on the net that you like but nothing beats talking to a real live player of a game.  So of course I have to ask “Really?  What makes it so good?”

 

“Dude, You can actually SEE boobs!  Nipples and everything.  And  when you get a fatality blood sprays EVERYWHERE!!”.  That was it.  I couldn’t go through with it.  I told the guy I didn’t want the game.   I had what my friends refer to Hooterphobia.  What is Hooterphobia?  Well, it’s the fear of Hooters.

 

Not Hooters as in boobies, Hooters as in the restaurant.  I can’t eat there.  Most of my friends make fun of me for it.  Allow me to pose a question.  If there were no waitress’s walking around with tight orange shirts and their boobs hanging out would you still eat there?  Most people are going to say no.  But then there is wings guy.  That guy that says “I go to hooters for the wings!”.  Shut up.  No you don’t.  You go to hooters for the TnA just like everyone else.  The food is overpriced and mediocre at BEST. 

 

Why can’t I go there?  Because it makes me feel like “That guy”.  Its kind of hard to explain.  It just makes me feel dirty.  Don’t get me wrong here.  I am a guy and like most guys I like boobs, butts and legs.  But for some reason I can’t go to hooters where those things are in abundance.  I feel like all the waitress’s are looking at me thinking “Just another dumbass guy coming to gawk at the TnA”.  Because when you strip away the TnA your left with crappy overpriced food and frankly there are plenty of restaurants in town where I can get a burger and a beer and generally have it served to me by a fairly attractive bar tender.  Difference is I can carry on a conversation with her without feeling like “That guy”

 

How does this relate to AoC?  AoC is hooters.  Strip away the TnA and excessive violence and its just another fantasy MMO.  Open PvP is reduced to getting ganked at spawn points.  The huge world is reduced to tons of instances.  Sure, the graphics look great but much like hooters it takes more then flash to make a game good.  Bottom line here is that the 3 main selling points of this game don’t make a game good. 

 

Great graphics – Check.  This is like dating a REALLY hot stripper that has a IQ of 13  Sure, its fun for a few weeks but after a while looking at her is going to get old and you going to realize there’s not a whole lot underneath.

TnA – Check.  Has NO impact of gameplay.  Strip it away and the only thing that would change would be that you would probably have ½ the population of kiddies.

 

Open PvP – Check.  To bad it’s reduced to ganking people at zones and spawn points.  The same thing that people bitch about playing online shooters,  Yeah, yeah I know.  Roll PvE, carebear, blah blah blah.

 

Bottom line is that this game does everything it says it does.  Has plenty of violence, TnA, pretty graphics and open PvP.  The problem is, does that make it fun?  Honestly, TnA and open PvP seems like the type of environment where you could manufacture jerks by the thousands.  That reminds me, How is the community?

The majority of PvPers are NOT looking for a challenege.

Posted by Rollotamasi Friday January 18 2008 at 5:54PM
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Back in the day I was about as "carebear" as they come.  I wanted nothing to do with PvP.  It did not interest me in the least bit.  It wasn't that I had a issue going up against another player.  Quite the contrary.  I have always been a huge fan of online FPS's. Once I started playing WoW and got into the BG's I started to enjoy MMO PvP.  I liked the group oriented basis with a bit less twitch style gameplay. Like most people that  PvPers label carebears I didn't have any interest in PvP because of the ganking and griefing.    Basically, people who I like to call "Honorless Dogs".  Please keep in mind that a honorless dog isn't a exploiter, they very well may be playing within the rules of the game. What it means is they are honorless dogs while doing it.  Unfortunately, I believe that the majority of people that call themselves PvPers fall into this category.

1.  We salute you Mr. "I'm going to attack you when your engaged with a mob" guy.  Valid tactic?  Sure, its not exploiting.  Does it make you a honorless dog?  Yep.  Your a wanker.

2. We salute you Mr. "I'm 30 lvl's above you and I'm going to slaughter you with one hit" guy. Once again, Valid tactic?  Sure.  Honorless Dog.  Yep.  Look, its not my fault you used to get your ass kicked in high school.  Go find the guy that was the one who was actually doing the kicking and one shot him instead.  Or find out where he lives and put his name and address on a bunch of animal porn mailing lists. 

3.  We salute you Mr. "Me and 4 of my friends are going to kick your ass for no better reason then the hot chick in accounting that I asked out turned me down" guy.  Everyone knows these people.  The groups of high lvls that roam around jumping single players. Yep, your a honorless dog.

 

Wait, Whats that?  I hear something... OH, it's the cries of the honorless dogs.  "Dude, it's war, if the other guy is of the opposing faction  then they are free game."  Yeah, I know.  In the last 4 years there have been plenty of times  Iwould  have been justified in  shooting a 16 year old Iraqi kid  that approached a checkpoint after he was warned but I didn't.  I am not a honorless dog.

Next argument.  "But a MMO isn't real war!"  You are 100 percent correct.  But that doesn't make you any less of a dick.  I don't care if your role playing.  It just means you are role playing a dick.  I don't care if you would never do something like that in real life.  Your a dick.   It doesn't mean you wouldn't it simply means the internet gives you the ability to do it with out getting your ass kicked.

The reason I think I can speak to this is that I said I USED to not be interested in PvP.  Then I played WoW BG's and now I am back playing EvE.  Love it or hate it, PvP doesn't get much more hardcore then EvE.  Because of this anyone getting ready to use the old "WoW BG's isn't real PvP so you don't know crap st00pid n00b!" argument can go ahead and shut up now. 

The thing that makes me come to to the the conclusion that I have come to (The one stated in the title of this post) is that in my time playing eve (About 8 months)  I have NEVER, NOT ONCE been attacked on terms that most would consider to be honorable terms. I'm belt ratting minding my own business.  Im in a cruiser - Guy kicking my ass is in a battle cruiser.  I'm in a battle cruiser - Guy ganking me is is in a battleship. 

Don't get me wrong here, I love EVE and I love the PVP.  I also understand that PvP in EVE is more about winning then honor (Hence the old EVE saying "If your in a fair fight your doing something wrong") HOWEVER, That doesn't apply all the time. 

-A enemy fleet jumps into a system you control.  Your not going to look at what ships they have or how many and then tell 6 of your guys to disengage to even the odds., You are going to open fire.  This does NOT make you a honorless dog.

-You setup a gatecamp to control movement around space you control. This does NOT make you a honorless dog.

-You fly your battleship around 0.4 space ganking people in frigs and cruisers belt ratting.  This makes you a honorless dog.

-You and 20 of your corp mates setup a gatecamp for no other reason then to blow up everyone that comes through because you like the pretty colors the explosions make and if you are REALLY lucky you might get to pod someone wearing +5 implants.  Guess what, Your all honorless dogs.

It is my opinion that the internet truly brings out the worst in people.  They say things to people they would NEVER say if that person was in the same room because they know they would get punched in the face.  They act ways they would never act in public.  But what I am really getting at is simply what I stated in the title.  The majority of PvPers DON'T want a challenge.  They want the chance to do something they rarely get to do in real life...Exert their will over others.

 

Gamers. Band of Brothers or Pack of Wolves?

Posted by Rollotamasi Monday January 7 2008 at 8:36PM
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I have recently become a bit discouraged with the "gaming" community.  I am not a "old" guy.  I am 28.  However I have been gaming for about 15 years.  It has always been my number one hobby.  I am not going to bore you with boasts about my Commodore 64 or Atari 400 but I will tell you this.  My first online game was Tradewars.  If you get that reference then you should have a pretty easy time following what I am going to say.  If you don't get that reference then you need to proceed with a open mind.  First, I am going to start with a little story. (Dream sequence sound)

In addidtion to gaming I have another hobby.  It's not my number one but it's a close second.  Disc Golf.  I LOVE ME SOME DISC GOLF. Love it love it love it.  I take my hobbies pretty serious.  Gaming- Ive got a pretty nice rig.  Disc Golf - Im one of the guys with the bag, 20 discs, etc.  To use a phrase from my day "I come correct."  I play in tournaments, blah blah blah.  Anyway, one afternoon I am finishing up my 1st round as I am getting ready to to tee off on the 18th hole when I see someone walking around in the woods looking lost.  This generally means someone has lost  a disc.  I shout "Want some help?"  and he happily agrees.  Walking around in the woods alone looking for a lost disc REALLY sucks. 

After a few mins of looking it is apparent we arent going to find it.  I ask the kid (Who appeared to be about 15 or 16) If he was going to play another round.  He said no as he didn't have a disc.  I asked him if he would like to throw a round with me and he could use one of mine.  He happily accepted and said "Well, at least one person out here isn't a asshole."  I inquired as to what he meant and he explained.  A few groups of players had given him a hard time about using a frisbee.  Disc Golf is "Meant" to be played with a disc, not a frisbee.  When people use frisbee's they tend to get heckled by other players that "Know how the game is meant to be played.   a lot of players on their first time out or players that don't play often will use a frisbee.  I told the kid that that was just the way some people were and to ignore them.  I said to play the game how he wanted and the way he had the most fun.

I know, the disc golf story is getting a bit long winded but I promise, its relevant to the point I am going to try to make later.   Anyway, after we shot a round I needed to be on my way.  I told him to keep the disc.  He thanks me and said that we was going to practice putting for a while.  He was hooked.  I knew it.  Three days later I was back at the course and there he was.  Throwing putts.  We shot a few rounds together.  Every time I was at the course I would see him.  The next time I saw him he had 2 discs.  Then 4.  Then a bag.  Etc.  We shot together just about every week.  Fast forward 2 years.   Saturday afternoon I was standing in second place at the awards ceremony for a local tournament.  Guess who was standing in first?

This story has several morals. First and foremost is don't be a dick.  That goes for gaming, disc golf or any other facet of life you care to apply it to.  The way that it applies to gaming is something I have been thinking about quite a lot.  I spend a lot of time on these forums.  I have a job that I don't do anything until something breaks so I have a lot of time to fill.  I see a lot of garbage.  I'm not talking about the flames per say, but I am talking about the bashing.  Mainly the bashing on games like WoW that are "To easy".  They "Aren't real MMO's".  "They are for N00bs". 

My question is this.  If you don't like playing disc golf with a frisbee, then why not just not play with a frisbee?  Why do you feel the need to berate others for their choice of playing with one?  How is their playing with a frisbee effecting your game play?  What I am saying is this, If you don't like easy MMO's, don't play them.  In addidtion to not playing them you should also SHUT THE @$*% UP.  Honestly, Why do you feel the need to berate players of a game just because its not hardcore enough for YOU?  Ok, its not your particular brand of vodka.  Thats fine.  Why can't people seem to just leave it at that?

I remeber when gamers were a tight knight group.  One more person wanting to get into gaming was embraced and welcomed by the community.  They taught them the ropes.  Now days, they berate them for making "stupid" mistakes and not playing games that are hardcore enough.  More gamers is better for all gamers.  More people playing WoW and LoTR is good for our community.  Strength in numbers.  Our industry continues to grow and with the help of easily accessable games like WoW and LOTRO will probably soon rake in more money then the movie business.  Thats coming a LONG way from Tradewars.  Some of the players will mature into hardcore gamers and move on to more hardcore games.  Some will not.  But for those that don't, what gives you the right to berate them because they don't?  Who are you to decide what "The way it is susposed to be" actually is?  Who are you to tell others that their way of having fun is wrong? 

Its like someone that goes to a little leauge game, decides they don't like it and then spends the next 6 months moaning and complaining that "Its not real baseball" and "The kids aren't very good"  "And the action sucks".  If you don't like it just don't go to another game.  Why do you feel the need to spew your negativity to everyone else?

Let people play the way they way the want to.  Who knows, in a few months they could be pwning YOU.  A lot of you probably don't understand this.  A lot of you probably WON'T understand this until one day.  On this particular day you are going to be at a little leauge game for your son/daugter/neice/nephew/grandkid/whatever.  And little Timmy or Katie is going to be up to bat or maybe running to catch a line drive.  And then, they are going to strike out or miss the catch.  And then something is going to happen.  Some asshole parent from the other team (Or maybe even the same team) is going to yell some stupid remark about how he/she should have made that catch or hit that last pitch.  And that kid is going to look at you.  And then, you are going to have to fight every instinct in your body to walk over there and smack the living hell out of that parent.  All that time you are going to be thinking..."What gives them the right"

 

 

Goodnight.

EVE. I REALLY wanted to love you.

Posted by Rollotamasi Saturday January 5 2008 at 4:13PM
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I admit it.  I have always considered myself a pretty hardcore gamer but I wasn't hardcore enough to hang with EVE.  I LOVED the setting.  I was getting to the point where I was a bit tired of fantasy and wanted to give something different a try.  The EVE world is terrific.  When I was playing EVE I reallyfelt like I was in space.  The would just seemed massive. (Exactly what I would hope from a space MMO).  But in the end.  I just couldn't hang.  I wanted to, I really did but I simply couldn't.  For me, the game had 2 glaring issues that made me step out of the captains seat.

My issues aren't the cut throat nature of the PvP.  Honestly, I am a pretty PvE focused player yet the constant risk of being attacked even in safe space didn't bother me in the least bit.  I held true to the golden rule of EVE, Don't fly anything you can't afford to loose.  I learned quickly that if I was going to be going to low sec on a regular basis then Implants were going to cause me more frustration then they were worth.  The things that bother most new EVE players really didn't bother me.  But still, I just couldn't get over 2 things.

Issue number one.  The skill system of EVE is INCREDIBLY deep.  The storyline is deep.  The crafting is deep.  The races and ships are deep.  The one thing however that I found NOT deep was the game play.  In all honesty It's not really so much the game play as it is the combat and movement.  Don't get me wrong.  Like most Western gamers I am a WASD type of guy.  A game being point and click doesn't TOTALLY but it does put a damper on a game for me.  What I don't understand is this.  Eve has some great things in it that make use of motion.  Distance plays a important role.  Transversal velocity play a role.  But the system of movement really makes those items feel arbitrary. 

Let me get something right out in the open because I know what a lot of people are going to say.  "They aren't small fighters, they are massive space ships!".  I understand that.  I don't expect a space battleship to handle like a F302 (Props to anyone that gets the reference).  However I need something a bit more then double clicking a area in space and starting to fly there.  I just never felt like I was really in controll of my ship and that really kills the imerision in the game. I am the captain of a starship, I want to feel like I am actually in control of it. Transversal velocity plays a major role in hitting your target but I never felt like I could take offensive manuevers .

Second is the combat.  Clicking on a enemy ship to target it there really isn't much to combat other then clicking on your "tank" (Assuming you are using a active tank) and clicking on your weapons and waiting for the other ship to explode.  I am not a button masher.  I really loved FFXI combat where classes only had a few skills to use.  It doesn't bother me when I only have a few skills.  But the bottom line for me is that I have to have something to do during combat or else why am I even there?  The ship does 95 percent of the fighting.  I felt more like a spectator then a captain.

Second is the skill system.  The skills your character has has a HUGE impact on the game. There is a metric crap ton of skills in EVE. I loved the idea that I could tweak my character towards drones, or missles or whatever.  It made me feel like my character was trully what I made them.  But the longer I played the more I began to understand 1 very important things. No matter how long I played and how many skills I aquired I would NEVER be able to match up with the vets  because there is no skill cap and  the only way to aquire skills is time.

Don't get me wrong.  I understand that tactics and skills as a gamer are a HUGE advantage.  However character skills in EVE is equally important if not more.  Because the only way to aquire skills in ever is through progressing through a set amount of time, it became apparent to me that I was pretty much always going to be a "Low man on the totem pole".  Lets face it, EVE is a great game but there isn't a HUGE influx of new players.  This meant that for the most part my character was always going to be behind the majority of the player base.  I just couldn't deal with that.  If I loose to another player because they have superior tactics and strategy then I have no issue with that.  If I loose to another player because they have a better understanding of the game I also have no issue with that.  However, when if I loose to another player simply because they have been playing the game longer then I have then I have a issue with that.  I have a big issue with that. 

I played EVE for about 6 months.  I really wanted to hang in there.  I miss my megathron.  I miss my drones.   If I had started playing eve from the start then there is a good chance I would still be playing right now. I probably could have gotten over what I consider to be dull combat.  However, I know there is no way I will ever catch up and that there will always be players out there that can beat me in a fight just because they have been playing the game longer then I have.  The list of things that I loved about eve is HUGE.  But in the end, that fact that I could really  "catch up" killed it for me in the end.

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