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Spouse Aggro!

I blog at www.spouseaggro.com, write for www.ablegamers.com, run www.mmovoices.ning.com and post all over the net. HOWDY!

Author: beauturkey

A smaller client? Yes, please.

Posted by beauturkey Sunday September 27 2009 at 10:40PM
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In my constant quest for more and more worlds to explore, I come across some really strange, wonderful and grotesque places. Some of these games draw me in from the beginning, and some turn me off within 20 minutes, but I have found that charm works more wonders than big budgets do.

It's the same way I feel about movies, being that I can enjoy a summer blockbuster romp as much as the next viewer, but tend to really get stuck on lower budget movies that use the little they have in more creative ways. It's pretty ridiculous to consider what a crapper Transformers 2 was, for example, especially when you consider how many millions it took to make it. Even more so when you compare it to a movie that was made for a fraction of the T2 budget, one that might have grabbed you in deeper ways like The Blair Witch Project or Donnie Darko. For the money they spent on Transformers, that plot should have been better than a beer in the shower. If you can make someone jump out of their seat with a 3 million dollar explosion, that's OK. But if you can do it with nothing but tricky lighting, then that's much, much cooler.

key_points_v2009092501.0

That might explain my recent obsession with browser based MMO's. Many of them are of the standard variety of Face-book type games, RTS's that move at a snails pace, but many more are now stepping into the light that are clever, cute and downright intriguing. Look at zOMG, Gaia ONline's new browser based add-on to their already millions strong social network. The game is doing wonders with flash, and while it might not be everyone's cup of tea, anyone with a right mind would have to recognize the nice bit of work and creativity that went into it. Also, consider that it equals zero download. You register and start playing.  It runs smoothly, is a lot of fun and the music is top-notch.

Then look at something like FaunaSphere, a strange 2-D Flash romp in a trippy world of pollution, pets and customizable mini-worlds. (Look for a review soon on ablegamers.com) Again, zero download, yet almost all the functionality of many "normal" mmo's out there.

So many people claim that a normal, large MMO like Everquest 2 has so much more to offer, and while that is true in many respects, you have to look at the proportions and the type of machines or set-ups required to run either game. EQ2 is still a pretty GPU hungry game, and still needs tweaking for lower-end machines to run it. While it does have a large number of wonderful in-game systems, there is the consideration of a more expensive machine to run it, and more hard drive space.

Granted, most basic machines sold now could run it at lower settings even with many of the on-board chipsets, but the latest rages are Netbooks and portability. According to some of the numbers I have been seeing and some of the trends, Netbooks and smaller note-books are going to be attached to more and more players each year. As wireless networks spread (or access like my 3-G access on my lil' Netbook) the more people will want to play-on-the-go. Gaming is becoming the norm, like music or watching movies.

In other words, the trend is smaller and less upkeep, not larger with upgrades every year. The iPhone is the next popular platform, not another console. Look at what the iPod did for portable music, and watch what happens when a more robust gaming ability comes to the device.

I noticed, also, that the MMO developers community seems to be mainly divided into three groups:

1) Subscription based, "older model" games, large downloads/file sizes

2) F2P games, various download sizes, cash-shop models

3) The browser based/no download model. F2P, cash-shops as well

From all of the developers I have met, the last two seem to be off on their own, not nearly as concerned with the giant that is WoW, and much freer because of it. And if you look at the only other games in NA (and the rest of the world) to have more players than WoW, you'll look at a F2P game. Some of the largest are browser based no-download games.

At GDC they predicted that Flash would have full 3-D capability within 2 years. While that might drive download sizes up, it would not increase hardware requirements much in the same way standard MMO's have. Soon, you will buy a note-book for 100 dollars that will be running full 3-D games, playing through wireless networks and possibly laughing at the fact that people used to pay 50 or 60 dollars just for a DVD of software.

At least, that's my prediction, and my hope. I'm tired of worrying about upgrading or buying new thousand dollar machines every two years.

Beau

Making room for a subscription.

Posted by beauturkey Saturday September 26 2009 at 4:23PM
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I really enjoy paying my bills. Granted, I would rather have more money to pay them, but I still enjoy keeping track of where our dollars go. If you want to see how wasteful some humans live, do your books and do them well. You will see that over the years your money generally goes into the drain, but it is a very fun drain.

And that's fine, to me. If you want to spend your money on entertainment, or cars, or savings, go for it. You worked for it so do what you want. But here's a list to illustrate how many bills I keep track of in a month, and I am sure I am missing some:

credit-cards

1) Rent

2) Insurance

3) Food

4) Electric Bill

5) Cable Bill

6) Gas Bill

7) Cell Phone/Netbook Bill

8) Skype

9) Credit Card Payments

10) 2 Libsyn Accounts

11) Website Hosting

12) School Loans

13) Ad-Free services

And there are a few more I might be missing. Most of these are essentials that break down into eating, drinking, cleaning or pooping. You can see that tacking on a subscription or 5 (we have had 6 at once before) could be a headache. Don't get me wrong, we can afford them, and we do maintain Leala's WoW account, but other than that this is a F2P household.

This does not mean that I do not pay any money into the system. I pay plenty. I have spent 100 dollars in Mabinogi alone. This means that I choose when and if my money goes in, and despite that I am still allowed access to the games. Many of these games, if only subscription-based, would have lost my cash a long time ago. I see absolutely nothing wrong with the subscription based model and even sub to my old fav's every few months, but for me it is literally about not wanting to tack on MORE bills for things that I might not use that much.

And, to be honest, I could keep track of them just fine, or just let them hit the cards and we would never notice, but that's how you can very easily get yourself into trouble.

It is literally the mental weight of the subscription, the simple existence of that clock ticking down, that prevents me from paying for subscriptions anymore. I can sit down and throw 20 bucks on one of my cards in order to get some virtual cash-shop items, but once I have paid that I can set the game down for a month or 8 and can always come back and log back in. In fact, I like re-discovering a game after I have taken a hiatus from it, seeing all the new content that has come out.

And, as someone that has experienced at least 100 F2P games and almost as many p2P games, I can tell you that F2P's generally (I said generally) have a faster and more reliable update schedule. Many F2P developers talk about this need for something new on a very quick schedule, since the player did not pay for anything to play the game they can very easily leave it behind to find a game that does update fast. Look at Mabinogi and it's incredible update schedule, or Runes of Magic...compare that to a WoW or a Ryzom. Those games, while fantastic, release new content in a very slow pace especially compared to many F2P games.

So, even though I could, I choose not to make room for any more subs than we maintain now. I don't want the grief. As someone that writes about games, and tries out a few or several in a month, I need to be able to put them down without the worry about the subscription running out. I don't need a timer.

My situation is pretty unique, and I can say that I also occasionally receive a sub without having to pay for one, but overall I am skipping around games like a kid trying to pick  out just one toy at the toy shop to buy.

Beau

My top 4 favorite MMO fires.

Posted by beauturkey Friday September 25 2009 at 10:50AM
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As I walk my dogs, there is a section of our route that smells of chimney smoke this time of year. The other night, one of the first nights that was crisp and chilly, I became literally almost intoxicated by the smell. It brought on such a wave of nostalgia that I stopped and just sniffed the air. It was glorious.

I realized right there on the spot that we humans all share two things: the fear of death; the constant back-of-our-mind nagging that one day it will all be over, and the love of fire.

Fire connects us, and as I smell that smell of smoking wood on the night air I feel connected to the entirety of humanity through time, more than I ever have. It is reassuring, that this world and this life is bigger, more connected, more ancient than most of us could ever get our minds around.

Is that why I am always attracted to fires in my virtual lives? Role-players love to sit by them, telling stories and meeting for adventures. I like to people-watch sitting next to a fire. If it looks cozy enough, people will almost always stop to say hi or to just pause. It's nice. It's a reminder to slow down. It gives our games a sense of realism simply because it reminds us of real life.

So let me list for you my top 4 favorite fires, in no particular order. See what you think:

Everquest 2: EQ2 has probably the best fireplaces in any game. You can actually tell the fire how to perform, from a small glowing pile of embers to a roaring flame, and it will do it. There's something magical about right-clicking and selecting "roaring" from a menu, and the fire roars to life. It's like a toy, but you can set a mood with it as well. Just wonderful.

fireplaceeq2

The Chronicles of Spellborn: When I first walked into the tavern inside Hawksmouth, my jaw fell open. So atmospheric, so begging-for-roleplay. The fires in the taverns and in the blacksmith shops give the place a magical glow, and provide most of the light, something that fits the genre. After all, if you had a massive pit with fire streaming out of it, wouldn't it be the centerpiece?

Mabinogi: Like so many things in Mabinogi, the fire has effects besides just being a place to sit down with your friends. You can actually share meals while sitting at it, burn items in it to get XP back, and increase some stats with it. You actually chop wood and must have the skill to make the fire. And if it rains? The fire will have a shorter life. I like how they look, even glowing during the day, but I love how they work even more. Just another example of Mabinogi being one of the smartest games out there.

mabfire1

World of Warcraft: The Filthy Animal tavern in Dalaran has probably one of the coziest fireplaces in the entire game. Many times I will log in just to see who might be sitting at the fire-place, and there is usually almost at least one or two people. It's a great place to pick up some casual role-play. It's huge, the fireplace, and the rest of the inn features a huge table that begs for guild meetings. I love it, and it shows that you don't need super high res textures to bring out that nostalgic feeling.

Dalaran-FilthyAnimalFireplace

I love fireplaces and fires like these, but there are many more. I am not subbed to Lord of the Rings Online right now, but if you go to the Prancing Pony Inn, walk to the back. There is a small room with a fire place in it and room for a few people. That room is so cozy it's amazing, the fire cracks and pops, and I have never seen a tavern laid out like that one, with back rooms that are tight and work best when walking. It's brilliant. I also like Ryzoms fire, and too many others to name.

I can just imagine me and Leala sitting at a cracking fire with the dogs asleep at our feet. Patrons walk past and some stop to nod or to light a pipe. The crowd is varied, and the snow outside glows blue in the moonlight. Leala looks at me and smiles, acknowledging the adventure that we just had.

Ah, that wave of nostalgia for places I haven't been yet!

Beau

Pocket Worlds, Punk Rock and Bloated Prog-Rock Drum Solos

Posted by beauturkey Monday September 21 2009 at 6:14PM
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One thing I loved about playing with my old bands is that we just showed up and played. We plugged in, turned up and played. Some nights we were brilliant, some nights we were just too loud and played too loosely.

But we always showed up on time, plugged in and played.

We didn't let the audience watch us go "check...chhhhheckkkk...shhsstt...shhhsthhtt...cheeecckkk.." for 20 minutes, or let them watch us set up guitar pedals for 45. We knew they wanted to see music, not setting up. Give them some music, even if it's loosely played. They came out here to hear us, not see us. That was the idea behind being punk, and I do not mean mohawks and pins in our nose. I mean the attitude, and I don't mean "snarky." I mean the idea that no matter what, you gave the audience (sometimes tiny, sometimes huge) what they came to hear, which was music. Loud rock music.

The players in this strange carrtoony world are having a wonderful gaming experience. They did not need the latest graphics card to run it.
The players in this strange cartoony world are having a wonderful gaming experience. They did not need the latest graphics card to run it.

It is the same for your MMO. If you are making an MMO, or have made one, or want to make one, don't make me watch you go "checckkk...ccchhheecckk.." for 25 minutes. Don't get mad if your silly in-ear monitors don't work. Let us experience your art, or we will walk away.

In other words, so you say you have really nice textures? Awesome, will my PC load them?

You have amazing spell effects? Wicked, but I can't afford that card that supports DX10.

Shadows? Realistic shadows? Neat, but your quest is busted.

The one thing I love about what I call the "pocket world movement" is that it concentrates on actually reducing the size of the games on your hard-drive. Flash games, games that run using not-so-modern-yet-perfectly-good engines. The world of Facebook gaming and "casual" gaming (as though a 56 year old woman playing for 6 hours a night is casual) is actually showing us the light, the way out of the bloated drum-solo prog-rock era and into the "let me experience your art without much hassle" punk rock era of indie games, games that would run on a pencil, and games that are accessible both to all skill levels and to all physical abilities.

On my Netbook, right now, rests access to around 10 or so MMO's. Many of them are made from Flash, or are embedded in a browser, and a few are your "standard" MMO made with a few gigs of code. But I can carry them around, I can play them from where-ever I want, and they feel as much like a virtual world as any other that was made with 15 gigs of textures.

Drop the load a bit, future designers. Quit bogging us down with high-res textures that players might just grow used to anyway. Just concentrate on the experience, not the graphics. Think of an impression, a dream. When you recall a favorite dream, you cannot remember the details, you can only remember the impression that the dream made on you. Faces, clothing, all those don't really matter because the dream made you feel a certain way so strongly. That's why these (essentially) Facebook MUD's are doing so well right now: they create an impression, make it easy to run and keep it accessible to all.

Personally, when I hear about a new MMO and all I hear about is what revolutionary engine it uses and not enough about what it is about, I am very skeptical. I don't care how fantastic looking it is, I only care about how fantastic feeling I am while playing it.

Beau

Making games is serious fun.

Posted by beauturkey Saturday September 19 2009 at 8:31PM
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 As I gather together notes, scribbles and recordings from Austin GDC, I am a little floored as to how much information was put out this weekend. Charts. Graphs. More charts.

 I understand that in any industry, there will be numbers. And in many cases ignoring those numbers will get you into a lot of trouble as a company.

 But let's just say that I am glad to be in the position I am in. I am a volunteer writer, blogger and podcaster. I could get paid, I imagine, as in salary. And I probably will get paid one day, as in pay-check. But as I met with more dev's from more companies that I can shake a stick at (two from Nexon ALONE! ) I am actually pretty darn happy being able to float between worlds, to wander between marketing, community management and customer service. I am able to get glimpses into all these worlds, and I all have to do now is ask. Some is due to me knowing people, but most is due to ablegamers.com. Thanks to them.

 But it's all very serious business. Emphasis on business. Manufacturing fun is very rigid sometimes, and I can see why. Video games are making more than movies, now. But I'm kind of glad that I am able to avoid any loyalties, that I can say what I want, and do what I want. And you know what? People are OK with it, it seems. Maybe sometimes the very serious community managers and tech-people need a good laugh, or need someone to say something they cannot. Who knows? Either way, I'll say what I want.

 But, I have to thank everyone from the convention, and everyone that has been so nice to me before that. They have accepted my half-sentences and rough descriptions with a nod and a smile, and it's a wonder they can come back with such solid answers when confronted with me.

 The seriousness is paying off, it seems. I am telling you honestly that if you are a jaded gamer and need a shot in the arm, go to one of these developers conferences. Not only will you see what I have been talking about all along (how the rest of the world is blowing the US away in gaming in some ways) but you will see glimpses into the soon-to-be-amazing future (those US companies learning from the situation andramping it up ten-fold.) There were so many instances of "Oh, that is COOL" that I lost count. Granted, me and Leala were there to present the sometimes-very-serious topic of disabled gamers and access to the developers, and yes some of them were about as fun as a rock, but so many of them looked at the issues I presented and seemed to go to work problem solving immediately; I could almost see the gears tick. 

 It was exciting and reassuring to see such a (sometimes) very serious and jaded community take to these issues with excitement in many cases, compassion in many and with good old fashioned smarts in others.

 Now, I need to do some laid-back gaming. We have stopped editing for the night, the dogs are getting sleepy and I want to go harvest some grain in some world or another.

 

 Beau

 

 

NetBook MMO'ing: some good, some bad.

Posted by beauturkey Monday September 14 2009 at 8:24PM
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In preparation for our trip to Austin GDC on behalf of Ablegamers.com, I decided I needed some kind of connection to the Internetz while we talked to developers, gamers and fellow bloggers/podcasters. If I got a good response to a question about accessibility, I could blog about it, take the developers picture and record the celebration!

But, I didn't want to spend 1k on a laptop to just check emails, blog and update my Twitter. I wanted something tiny, something slightly more than an iPhone.

41959

I heard quite a bit about Netbooks, but decided that most of the good deals were gone. Still, I would look into them and hope one day soon to have one. In the meanwhile, I would update things on the iPhone. Then, I happened into Radio Shack to look at blank CD's, and lo and behold there were a couple models available with a 2 year contract, something I knew would be involved. Each model ran basically 300 bucks (they used to be 400) but with the discount the Acer would be 99 and the Lenovo would be 59 bucks.

That's right, 60 bucks.

I signed up quicker than a jackrabbit on a date, and walked out of the door with a fully capable internet mini-book. The trip would be filled with the blog writing and updates that I dreamed of! When I brought it home, Leala about had my head. She wanted to help pick out any laptops, but I explained to her what this would be used for. The 3G network ran great, and the lil laptop ran ever better plugged into our network. She told me I could keep it "...if it ran WoW."  So, I installed it and wouldn't you know it, the damn thing didn't run half bad!

The odd resolution choice of 1024x576 has put a damper on some of the game choices, but for internet blogging, video streaming (including streaming from out NetFlix account!), photo-taking and podcast editing, it is actually performing rather well! I am actually really impressed. You can read an updated review here.

So, minus all the fun stuff it does for browsing, editing and writing, it actually runs a few games pretty well. Granted, these were not made for gaming, but it does run some good enough to mess with. There seems to be a discrepancy with the screen size (the box says 1024x 600 while the PC says 1024x576, which is causing some games to error out) but other than that, I am loving this little 69 dollar toy.

WoW: Warcraft runs not bad at all, and since the screen is smaller the lower detail doesn't look half bad. We got 15 FPS outside and 30 inside! Pretty neat, but we will be loading Dalaran and other areas to see how good it runs in high-traffic areas. Remember, if it doesn't run WoW, I can't have it! :)

Fusion Fall: Testing this out tonight, bit it loaded and ran well before I had to get to bed. A browser based cartoon shooter.

Mabinogi: Errors, errors. Too bad, too. But I did hear that it didn't run well much at all anyway.

Wizard 101: The game errors out. I think it might be the minimum resolution thing, again. I will look into trading this model for the newer one (I think there is one) or for the Acer that has x600 res. I am going to ask the makers of Wizard 101, Kingsisle, what THEY think when I visit their studios on Friday! :)

Ikariam: A great browser based-turn based game that I reviewed recently. Of course it runs great, and will kill more time than the DMV.

Dofus: Checking this one out tonight. Being flash-based, it is supposed to run pretty good!

Free Realms: It runs, actually, but I had to squish things a bit. I messed with the screen settings and got it to run, but it is a bit laggy. The mini-games ran just fine. Not as pretty as it could be, but hell it's A NETBOOK.

FaunaSphere: A great flash-based browser game that I am reviewing. Runs great, looks really cute!

RuneScape: Runs half-OK, but not really that great. The browser games seem to have more issues than the games that run from the installed games. I wonder why that is? (Tech person anyone?)

Here is a list of games I will try and report back on. If you would (owener of Netbooks like me) download some of these and let me know!

EVE, Taikodom, Runes of Magic, Dream of Mirror Online, Ryzom....many others I can't think of right now.

So, I am going to put this lil guy through the paces this week at GDC. I am going to run it hard, and if it does pretty well, I am going to go get a second gig of RAM. I love how easy it is to replace/upgrade the ram and hard-drive, which is a brilliant move on Lenovo's part. Expect a vidcast to be put together when I do that.

Overall, worth the 60 bucks and even the contract. Since we will be getting a beefier gaming laptop next PC purchase, we can just use the anywhere-in-the-world plan we have for that machine. Also, this lil Lenovo runs off of wired or wire-less Internet, even without the plan. All in all, I am excited to be able to do everything I want to do while on the road. I expect many hours to be put on this thing.

Any other users out there (Shuttler!) let me know how yours does!

Now, see you at GDC!

Beau

Ikariam: Capturing your imagination, and occupying your towns!

Posted by beauturkey Wednesday September 9 2009 at 11:00AM
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I've played my share of browser based games. I've played plenty of these click-wait-click type games. They are all pretty neat, but at some point I usually get attacked by some guy named "420JuggerNUT420" and lose all my progress. Then again, it's been quite a while since I played one. At least a year?

So, trying out Ikariam, a browser based click-and-wait game (think EVE skill training meets an RTS) I thought it was going to be just another trip down "ouch I just lost everything" lane.

ikaaa

But, I didn't factor in the involvement of the www.mmovoices.ning.com players. Soon, we would all be in game and chatting about it in the chat room. The nice thing about this type of game: everyone can be on the same page, and can play together without having to be logged in on an avatar.

Essentially, you start off on a random island somewhere in the sea. You are surrounded by strangers, and have nothing but a town hall to start making your town with. I don't care to get into every single detail of the game, being that I would rather you discover them for yourselves and being that I am a little against posting every single detail instead of posting about how a game makes you feel, so here it is.

a) You click on a plot on your land and start to build something.

b) You form alliances, trade with your friends.

c) You wake up at 4am, scared that you are being attacked.

That's most of it, minus the details. The best way to experience it is to log in and start building. Don't worry about making money or massing an army, just stumble your way through it. That's not really the important thing, here. The important thing is how you feel when you play. I would rather give you a couple examples of my game-play to indicate how the game makes me feel:

1) I look at my interface, and my military advisor is all lit up. I check him to see what's happening, and he says "Fatmanfred is attacking you.." or something along those lines. It essentially warned me that a player was sending 4 vessels and 4 units to get me. I had no idea what that meant, but saw the word "occupy."

I stayed calm. I thought I should message the guy, see what he wanted. Then I thought I should just look up what to do on the forums. I decided both of those are lazy and weak, so I just took out all my goods and loaded them on a ship and sent them away to a friends island. (Weak still, but not lazy.) The loading process would be done in 19 minutes or so, and he was supposed to arrive in 14! If I had to, I would tell my friend to just sell the stuff...I would possibly recover..goodbye, cruel world.

So, he arrives...I prepare to watch the carnage.

But, nothing happened. Here's how it broke down: "occupation" simply means that he is using my town as a jumping off point for an attack on someone else. The only damage I recieved was to lose the few soldiers I had. He didn't take anything, and left soon after. My mind quickly ran over the situation and how he landed, told the townspeople to continue on with what they were doing, had his way with some of the women, and I swore revenge as he left. (I still plan on it.) Luckily, warehouses keep a certain amount of goods "safe" (meaning that they can't be looted) and I had attempted to load the remainder on my ships. Well, he caught my ships before they became fully loaded and they had to leave port quickly, leaving behind what they couldn't carry. Luckily, those leftovers fit within the warehouse. If not, the goods that were not protected would have been his.  Needless to say, it was a riveting hour or so.

2) Trade route? YES. The cool thing is that once you establish who your friends are, you can send ships to each other containing goods. You send messages (or we do it in chat) asking what each other needs and send the goods if we have them. My friend sent me 300 wine, I took 100 and sent on the other 200 to friends down the list. We are clumsily trading with each other, stumbling through the world while trying to grow our towns. A few of us have been attacked, but this game allows you to survive to see another day, unlike other browser based games.

All in all, the game is so very simple, but as complex as you want to make it. I would rather avoid most combat and trade with people, and I can do that.

I can also mass an army and go around conquering, if I'd like.

That's what I love about games like this, they give you choices. When the game-play is interesting enough but doesn't require countless hours sitting at your chair, you will explore all sorts of ideas you wouldn't normally think of until you have a boring day at work or a long walk with the dogs. Your mind keeps racing back to your lil town, wondering how they are getting along. As you progress, the town changes slightly, adding workers and vineyards. A game like this proves that graphics never make the game, it's the game-play and interactions with other people that do.

Go try it out.  I know, I know, I didn't give you all the details. I didn't tell you how to make a million gold within a month, or how exactly to grow the perfect town quickly. Figure it out. Only understand that you just need a browser to play, and that we are having discussions about the game on www.mmovoices.ning.com, so join the group.

As you play, notice how your mind is filling in so many blanks. That's not a knock against the game, but quite the opposite. It takes a real game to get stuck in your brain while you are at work or sitting in a boring class, and it takes a very clever game to do it without much for graphics!

Beau

Spouse Aggro #88: "Innovations and Toast."

Posted by beauturkey Monday September 7 2009 at 5:29PM
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Spouse Aggro #88: "Innovations and Toast."


Click here to download.

If you would like, right click and open that link in a new tab. That way, you are staying on MMORPG.com, and not LEAVING MMORPG DOT COM, the VERY BESTEST website ever.

 Understand that if this site would just allow the embedding of a simple audio file, that I would not have to link it elsewhere. Consider this some free podcast nonsense for you, fair listener, for MMORPG.com.

 All because I LOVE YOU. Now go listen, now. You can make fun of me later!!

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This week we talk for the duration of time it takes for the toast to settle in our tum-tums to talk about innovation, and I'm using Free Realms specifically to talk about a product and company that is innovative.

Many players seem to think that Free Realms is nothing new, because it is doing what a lot of MMO's actually already are doing, meaning locking people into instances to run around a mini-game. But, I am talking about delivery and style.

If players underestimate delivery and style, then they need to re-define what success means.

My wrists hurt, please listen.

Write us, or send in a segment. Call the phone line and leave a comment:

972-535-8867

Enjoy!

Send emails to spouseaggro at yahoo dot com.

Website found at spouseaggro dot com.

Twitter name: spouseaggro

Skype name: beauturkey

Now GO LOG IN!

The Turkeys

Any disabled players here?

Posted by beauturkey Monday September 7 2009 at 11:22AM
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 I will be traveling to a few different places to cover gaming for Ablegamers.com, and would love to hear from other disabled players from this site! 

 Understand that there are many types of issues that players have, from playing with only one hand or suffering from color blindness. These issues can usually be helped or access can be granted easier with a few basic add-ons to many games. For example, games could have a simple toggle for color-blind players that switches certain colors to allow for them to see them.

 Many games have targeting circles and valuable information that comes in colors that a color-blind person cannot see. Ablegamers looks to change that, by talking to developers about these issues.

 I would love to hear from any players on this site that might know of issues that stops them from playing, and I would love to hear any suggestions that might need to be looked at. There are literaly millions of disabled players, and it would be nice to see them be able to play the games they love. And it's a win-win for the developers, also, being that millions of customers means millions of dollars.

 Contact me here or leave me your ideas or concerns! 

 

 Beau

An example of the craziness that I deal with...

Posted by beauturkey Monday September 7 2009 at 11:21AM
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I have been copying and pasting, for the most part, these blog posts over to mmorpg.com, even after I no longer am a paid blogger. While I think the site lacks in many ways, there are always good conversations going on. The staff is wonderful and professional.

But, I have slacked over there for quite a while, not adding anything much to the discussions. I physically cannot keep up with typing all these messages, emails and articles. My wrists wont have it. So, I decided that I might consolidate my blogs and concentrate only on spouseaggro.com, ablegamers.com, and the MMOvoices website.

So, I posted that I might do this, and soon after I begin to get responses from a few people, but mainly from this strange stalker guy I have been getting messages from for a long time. I deleted the comments and the blog post because I decided to post a few more times on mmorpg.com. Of course, this guy posted on my other blog posts, the ones containing the Spouse Aggro podcast:

" ******* writes:

Hey! He deleted some replies here!  What a tard..."

Which I did. I am always floored that, after someone comes onto any one of my blogs and posts "you suck" without actually adding anything to the conversation and I delete them,  they come back and act like I am being a jerk. Look, I post silly things on people's blogs all the time. Syncaine is a perfect example of someone that forces me to post "You are NUTS." But he let's them stay, out of some kind of..I don't know...honesty? YUCK. If he deleted them, I would just move on. 99 percent of the time I am just poking fun at someone that I have known for a while, like Syncaine. I have no issues with the guy, and have said so on the show. Anyway...

So, they insult me first. I delete them. They insult me again. Then I delete them again. Then they email me:

"SUB: Used to be good, what happened?

Hey, you used to have a decent bit going here on mmorpg, but the last 20 or so blogs seems to simply fall into self promotion, links to your other sites and crap like that. What happened? I was enjoying your read, but now its like you sold out to a big company, theres no content anymore and your latest stuff has turned into a pile of s*** promotion.

You gonna get back on the horse anytime soon?"

Now, this is one of those messages that, within the span of a few sentences, insults me AND compliments me. To be honest, I don't think he meant it in a horrible way, but I would hope that he could see how he was pretty deserving of me saying back:

"This is a serious question, OK? Answer it honestly. Are you nuts?

You call me a "tard", tell me you enjoyed my blog, tell me I might have sold out, then ask me to come back with more of the fantastic blogging that you enjoyed?  Again, are you crazy? This is not a very good way to get me to sleep with you, sir.

Understand a few things:

1) I do not control what MMORPG.com highlights. They do.

2) Write your own blog. It's not hard.

3) See you later. There are a million websites that I can write on, and I do. I am simply consolidating those that are of no use to me.


Thanks for your...compliments? Let's both be happy that we will never actually talk to each other, forever, and then we will die and be put into the ground never to have to see one another. This is it, my last words you will ever read from me.

That's kind of a cool image.

Beau "

Of course, my responses are all over the place. I write that way, I interupt my own damn sentences with more sentences about other things. I see art within art. Pretentious? Yeh. Oh well. Here is the response back, and remember that this whole thing started with him calling ME names, out of the blue:

"Its not SIR, its MAAM, tho Im not quite old enough for a MAAM I think.

Its just that I have enjoyed your past blogs here a lot, then lately you seem to have stopped and just resorted to self promotion, which irks me a lot, considering your highlighted. I never read any of your other sites, so I went and did that, now Im really pissed, as your other places have a ton of gret content and blogs that your not reproducing here at all! I agree its weird, as I like your writings, but cant stand what your doing here anymore. I suggest that you close your blog here and stop your chest thumping and I'll just go read you on your other sites.

Have you noticed others feel this way? If not, take a look at your bumbs/buries, and notice when you are doing the selfless promotion of all your OTHER places, you get a disproportionate amount of buries to bumbs, but when you write something of substance, you seem to do ok.

Well think about it anyhow.

Oh, and I am starting my own blog, you'll see..."

This is the strangest response. Actually, he is telling me that he is "pissed" because my content, the SAME content is better over at other sites. The other brilliant thing? The "bumps/buries" thing. MMORPG.com has a system that readers can use to bump and bury your post, essentially knocking it up and down the list. Now, what he is claiming, is that since I get about 5 buries compared to 2 bumps, out of some of my posts gettting hundreds of views, a thousand views, (or 50) that that means that the community, as a whole, hates my guts.

Of course, he wouldn't think that it means that the same 5 people are burying me every time, out of the hundreds that do not. I actually had one guy tell me he would, personally, bury my post every time.

So, I replied, I had to. This dude has been bugging me for a long, long time, but I find people like him fascinating:

"You do know what consolidation means, right?

Look, kid. You're what, 17 or 18 years old? Maybe? If not, learn to spell basic, basic things. That would be the first step in global domination. I'm sure I'll be seeing your name in bright lights someday.

The funniest part is that you have no idea what you are even talking about, as to why I am a featured blogger or why I am (if you might have noticed) a "Mabinogi Correspondent." Imagine, for just a second...reach outside of your high-school experience....

*wavy dream sounds*

Now, imagine me volunteering to write for mmorpg.com, which I did. Imagine that they asked me to be a correspondent for a game, and at first I told them Mabinogi, since it is a great game. Now imagine..I know it's hard..stay strong..but imagine that I asked them to write about general blog stuff, and they told me to write about whatever. Now, imagine that I told them a few months after that I didn't want to write for them anymore, being that other blogs of mine are very very busy.

Now, imagine what would happen if they never took that title away. I don't know why. Imagine, please...use your head here..that I have no F*****G CONTROL over things like titles or being featured. Several times, after I was no longer a paid blogger (** bucks a pop, not worth it) the editor featured a few of my blogs, essentially getting paid content for free. While I like the site and the guys that run it, that is a 'lil slick, huh?

Picture this: I would, for a long time, just copy and paste blogs from there to over here. (This is the funny part, I have ALWAYS copy and pasted my blogs from here to there..always. HE is griping about the content being lacking on mmorpg.com's blog, yet it was THE EXACT SAME content. Look at the blog list on there, and you will see the same blog posts. THE EXACT SAME. I essentially allowed mmorpg.com to use my content from spouseaggro.com for free) It was a way to get different audiences takes on my writing. Soon, I realized that the community here had, to say the least, one-track minds. Not my thing, but nothing wrong with that. But, using your wacky comments as an example, you can see why I might not want to be around this playground.

Also, picture the thousands (and I do mean THOUSANDS) of websites that exist out there that do this kind of thing. Hell, I just started one of my own.

So if you want to pull this strangely complimentary act with me, go for it. I am sorry (?) that I don't blog here, when you could just go over to my other blog and read about it.

But g*****n, don't be such a weirdo, OK?

Now, tell me when you have a blog, and I will come call you a "tard" in the comments section. Or, I will be massively impressed.

Whatever. Good luck. Now just leave me alone, s**t.

Beau"

As you can see, I am trying to use a sense of humor. This stuff is actually a lot of fun for me, because I truly wonder what kind of a strange person would worry so much about me, my writing. Also, I get the "you will regret this.." or the "..you should be held responsible.." type comments a lot, as though I am something like a politician sending troops to their death for a bogus reason, or a spy that was caught. Obviosuly, some people literaly think I am something more than I am, despite me posting my pictures, my jobs, and all my personal details. How strange! How GLORIOUSLY STRANGE! The response:

"Ah, I see now, your true nature comes afront. Pity you cant handle the real world. (see what I mean? "Real world?" Of WHAT? MMORPG blogging?) I merely noticed that your blog posts here have degenerated into nothing more than self promotion for other sites. That defeats the purpose of blogging here, and I am going to be SURE I now bring it to the attention of the MMORPG staff, that your abusing your highlighted status for personal gain. (here we go again, using MY blog to bring attention to ME, all because I post the show on the site, giving a link that can be downloaded without takling people AWAY from the site. Again, more free content.) I was simply hoping you were in a slump, but it is not to be, it seems that your just a simple a**hole, nothing more. You make false assumptions on how old I am, then proceed to attack that, believing your correct. Then you get nasty and mean. (Like calling someone a "tard"?)Thanks for your nice replies here; they are going to make a lovely addition to my new blog exposing what a complete buttwipe you truly are.

Ya know, its funny, when I did not know you personally, I liked your writings, but now that I see who you truly are, I am starting not to like what you write any longer. Now I do understand why you get so many buries as opposed to bumps, its not your selfless promotion, its from people that know who you are.

Feel free to make as many assumptions about me as you like, you only know one thing, and one thing only; I am female. Thats it, so I find YOUR replies very funny... (You know what you get when you assume things, right?)
Anyhow, Ta ta for now, dont bother to reply. Save it, your gonna need it when I am done with you, and taking apart your little empire you hold so dear. (
EMPIRE? Oh, dear lawd.)You should have simply been nice, rather than a jerk. Well, you reap what you sow..."

SEE the lunacy I have to put up with?? lol And you, fair reader, have no idea how much of this weirdness I have seen over the last several years of blogging. I LOVE how he says I am being "nasty", yet started the entire thing off with not only commenting on my blog, calling me a "tard", but then emailing me to insult me some more. This is how this always starts off. Now look at my responses..I basically entertain the conversation. I actually really like dealing with people like this, because it gives me glimpses into psychology that I would never have anywhere else. I LOVE how they claim I am a "selfless promoter"....ON MY OWN BLOG.

Notice the "..I am a female..." part. This is when it clicked. This is the same troll that, for the last few months, has pursued me in 2 different forms, both on mmorpg.com. This emphasis on female is exactly what set me off, especially when I received an email from the guy that was banned from the site before:

" there is more than one way to skin a cat. I can come back to haunt you if youd like."

And it goes on with some nonsense about..you guessed it...getting what I deserve. Reaping what I sow. Also, this persons name has my birth year in it, and he claims to be 35, my age. And even their screen names were very similar! (I will not post the name, being that they have been banned and cannot discuss it. You might see some of his legit comments on some of my blogs, though.) My run-ins with him before usually consisted of me telling him that a man of his age should learn some basic things. I mean, I am not trying to be a spelling Nazi, but a 40 year old man should be able to spell "dumb."  Of course, I could be wrong, but this story is much more fun. I love picturing what my readers and friends look like and act like.

My response:

"I have no idea what you are talking about, kiddo. My blog is asking legitimate questions about GDC. You're strange.

The cutest thing is that you would consider having a blog on MMORPG.com having "an empire."

What's "afront" mean?

Anyway, I am not sure that I am the one that started the insult throwing, am I? Ask yourself....seriously...WHO started it?

WhoooooooOOOooOOO?

(hint: it was you.)

Now, please allow me to get back to blogging on MMORPG.com ok?

Beau"

..and then I sent this as well:

"And you're not a girl.

Sheeeesh.

Beau"

..and then this, because I was out walking my dogs and forgot to type it:

"NOW I know who you are!

Dude, you had me going for like,2 minutes there, congrats. I asked you to leave me alone before, and they banned you. I am reporting you again.

Please do not show up to my house to shoot me.

Thheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeennnkkkkks.

Beau"

...and their response:

"And you know this how? Peeking in my windows? I sent you a pic? You have no idea, i'll just add this great comment to the wall of shame im putting together. Really, you make this OH too easy.."

Now, at this point we need to consider what has been said AND done. This guy comes onto my blog, calls me names because he thinks that I am not doing my job.

On my blog.

My "selfless" blog.

So, they go on and compliment me, sort-of, then proceed to say that I am the jerk for being confused by their strangeness. I am used to this kind of behavior, and especially from MMORPG.com. The thing is about that site, and I am not making this up and say this as someone that has posted on there for YEARS, is that certain blogs get a lot of attention, certain blog TOPICS I should say, and certain ones do not. Posts about how the community is to blame do not get attention, and tend to drive people  away from your blog. Also, I have dropped in my frequency in posting there so if you look at my highest numbers, those were the numbers that came from the time when I posted the most.
People just don't look much anymore, but I would promise you that if I made another Darkfall post, or almost ANY post about Blizzard, that it would get me more views and comments than ever.

But, I don't care about that stuff. I care about discussion. Look at me and Leala's new project at www.mmovoices.ning.com. We started it as an experiment, and within weeks we not only have some amazing discussions and writing, but we haven't that many members. 140 or so? Yet, according to the Google Analytics, we are getting thousands of unique views. That means people are coming, not always joining, reading and coming back later. Think about how many sites YOU go to, do not join, but read up on all the time.

The numbers do not matter, it's the interaction. Yet, some people STILL seem to think that I a "public figure"  (some guy told me that a few weeks ago) am trying only for "self-promotion" (as though a blogger that writes about his or her own thoughts could do anything else. But you get what I mean..)

This is the kind of crap that goes on, year after year, day after day, in the mmo community. Someone THINKS they are right, and decides to not just state it, but to go so far as to post it over and over and over. This person JUST commented again on my blog, here:

"How about a blog? this is a couple lines of nothing.  What a waste of blog space..."

These people will do this, over and over, after being deleted and banned several times. The scariest part? He claims to work for a gaming company, and claims that I can see him at GDC! AGH! Shoot-me-in-the-face-much?

I will always post about whatever I feel like. I don't mind bad comments, or comments that call me out for being dumb, IF they add something to the conversation. Calling me a "fag" or saying that I suck does not add to the conversation. EXPLAINING why I suck DOES.

Isn't the blogger world so amazingly ODD? I have HUNDREDS of comments like this, all saved in drafts, emails and text files. I am fascinated by them all. To be honest, most of them are sent out of simple anger, and I understand that. Most of them have been long forgotten and need not be explained. I totally understand someone getting mad at me, or misunderstanding me, being that I write like a 2 year old. Still, I am allowed to be fascinated by such..weirdness.

Anyway, I need to get back to editing.

See you all!

Beau


 

Why I like blogging here..

Posted by beauturkey Monday September 7 2009 at 6:22AM
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 I have to say, the interactions with the readers are probably my favorite.

 I have met the most wonderful people, from all over...places.

 Since I am going to GDC, I am curious what you guys might be interetsed in hearing about from GDC?

 

 

Beau