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All Posts by MustaphaMond

All Posts by MustaphaMond

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319 posts found

bump to agree... because I just joined recently and have puzzled over this very same annoyance...

to plagiarize from a shirt: "Cleric: I rez dead people" ... so, healer/buffer.

I enjoy the concept and experience of playing MMO's, but I think their execution is all over the place.  Most of the games are utter crap and it weakens the genre as a whole.  Then again, I bet the ratio of good games to crappy games is probably the same as single player games, but there are just far more single player  games... which means there are more quality titles to choose from (and a lot more crap to wade through too).

But... to get to the point:

I'll join the chorus... EVE = great, but so involved I never committed myself to it properly.  I'd also throw in FFXI, but that's not really for the casual player either, to be honest.  Then, I guess UO and EQ to some extent.  I don't have time to try every game out there, but hopefully that will change soon.

and you were "ripped off" how?  Because you willingly bought a game for the price it was clearly marked at?  Because you failed to read the return policy (that's probably printed right on the receipt or was in plain sight as you stood at the register to buy the game)?  Because you are so selfish and insensitive that you don't remember your mom's birthday and don't plan ahead and save money for just that kind of an oversight?

Yeah, they ripped you off, alright.  I'll be sure to hide my wallet the next time I drive by one of 'em.  Thanks for the warning!

Jeez... you must be related to some of the wall street jerks who want the government to bail them out for their own mistakes...  Grow up, do your due diligence before buying a game (pricegrabber is a good resource), know the return policy of ANY vendor before doing business with them (and don't act all butt hurt when they do exactly what they warned you about when they sold you the game)...  AND always have a little "rainy day" money saved up just in case.  Oh, and start a google email account and put your mom's birthday in a google calendar (throw grandma's, dad's, brother's, sister's, etc. too while you're at it).  Think about other people before youself.  It all comes back to you anyway.

Most of all, stop getting emotional and stupid when your own ignorance and lack of planning costs you money.  It's a logical consequence and you should accept it, learn from it, and move on.

http://squaremmo.blogspot.com/

...because the game engine is familiar, the company has a good pedigree, I think they have learned a lot from FFXI... and there's not a lot else on the horizon that interests me.

I have no idea what SE really wants to do with the game, but it will likely offer some depth to enjoy.

Originally posted by Bountytaker

I too would love to see more virtual worlds set in REALISTIC ancient times (not "Gods 'n Heroes" like).  If they could ever get a big budget MMO version of Civ, Caesar, or Pharoah, they'd have me hooked.

 [...]

It's outside the normal MMO box...which means it's both interesting.....and, unlikely to be made. Good posts though.

 

+1

This has been an enjoyable thread.  Nice to imagine, even if it's unlikely to be made.

The notion of micromanaging actual parts of your city (i.e., "possessing" the body of a worker in that area) is cool.  I really like the thought of the ferocious beasts making the road impassable (or even a fallen tree or landslide after an in-game weather event).

There could be a variety of solutions to a problem like lions.  The player could hoof it out there themselves, killing the lions, and the city will reep the benefit of a safer road as you mentioned.  Of course, that requires that your PC has some type of weapon, something your city possibly has to craft first (from mining/refing ore, shamans/priests blessing the weapons, etc.).  Even better, if the city had enough resources, mercenaries could be hired... or even hunters/soldiers created who are then assigned to that area... and they automatically kill X number of beasts, so you have to allocate accordingly.

In the reverse, by killing lions yourself... you save on having to "create" a hunter/soldier for the task, but maybe some of your other undertakings (e.g., farming, mining) would be less efficient as npc's do those task while you're busy killing piles of Simba's.

As alluded to, neighboring cities/players could play a huge factor.  If your neighbor has a poorly developed city and the wilderness between your two cities is not maintained on their side of the border, the spillover of wildlife and bandits/thieves could jeopardize your city (somewhat).

Players would have to interact, form agreements and workable solutions to a dynamic gaming world.  It would be a big mess, and it would be great! ^_^

Again, nice to imagine... even if it's unlikely to be made.

(argh!)

I feel that "grinding" differs from enjoyable repetitive activities in one way: it is so tedious and pointless that it's difficult to relate it to your character/the game/the game world.  Essentially, "grinding" = an activity that makes me feel like a person manipulating keys for rather inconsequential rewards.  It disconnects me from my character.

I'm human, that's a sprite, I manipulate it and make it do things..... and this game SUCKS!!! ...  That is grinding.

Grinding is a character/stat building activity that it is anti-immersive.  It takes you out of the gaming world, it makes you feel like you're doing whatever you're doing because the programmers meant this to be a long hard road to travel before you meet your goal.  It reminds you that you are playing a game, not experiencing a new world/adventure/skill set/etc.

Still.... there are many, many repetitive activities that are enjoyable.  Of course, it depends on the player and that's why this is a difficult question to answer.

Specific repetitive activities for some people are fun, casual, and fit their ideas about their character and what their character's place in the game world is.  For others, the same activity is an insult to their uber gaming skillz....

Take fishing for example.  I love it.  Couple it with cooking, and a white mage job class... it made sense to me. I easily saw my taru whm as a wandering tribal priest... a monk skilled in culinary arts who can both heal you, feed you, then fish you up some dinner.  As I fished (never botted), I imagined it as a meditative conversation with nature...

Drops from mobs used in recipes meant something to me.... and I loved xping against undead, eating my own wares (and passing out juices and whatnot to party members), and feeling like I was helping to release those poor tortured unholy souls from this world into the next.  All in all, the grind that was fishing/cooking/whm was all about becoming a more "capable" priest... a healer who nourishes body, mind, spirits... etc., etc. ::gags::  ... So, it felt like no grind at all.

Still, as many of us would agree, fishing is one of the most "grindy" of skills/crafts to level/pursue (well, most of the time).  As always, it depends on what the player is willing to forgive.  After all, Lu Shang's rod about drove me off my rocker... or did it?

started playing FFXI from first day of NA PC release (Oct. 28, 2003) until about 5 months ago (Novemberish? 2008).  So I guess the answer is a little under 5 years, though I admit there were some periods of light/very casual play.

At the start, my playing was really heavy, but still irregular at times because I was finishing my bachelor's degree.

When I started working (teaching), I kept my account but I rarely had time (or energy) to play.  As the years have passed, my job remains stressful and demands too much time to properly play... I didn't want to quit FFXI, and my character still had many little side projects and quests going... many loose ends to tie up.  But, after going several months between playing... well, I just couldn't justify spending money on something I wasn't using (I had mules... several... it became costly to keep what I had built sadly enough... typical money sink BS).

I miss it terribly, but after this school year, I am taking a break... going to take some online classes for a master's, and just substitute once and awhile to pay the bills (if I can even find a job doing so given how messed up the economy is).  I will get serious about my master's next year, but I will have a year to dabble a bit (and drool/prepare for SE's new MMO).

I can't wait to play videogames again... ;^_^

Originally posted by PatchDay

Sure everyone gets all hot and angry and screams, " Yes we want Innovation!!!"

Yet when you look at their post history what MMOs are they playing? WoW!

Okay, to be fair some may not really play an MMO. Instead they look forward to others like Aion-- which looks like a gorgeous WoW/EQ clone

 

I want to see a more accurate poll that shows how many want change and really are playing an innovative MMO. It does not help the cause when you scream for change and still give Blizzard money. That is all investors look at guys- that pie chart that shows WoW has like huge chunk of the market share...

 

Action speaks louded than words.... EVE only has like what- 300k subs? Come on now something is up what are u guys playing be honest

 

I play the MMORPG in my head, PatchDay.... (;-_-)

I know there are others like me.  Waiting.  Watching.  Wondering when that weird, quirky, geek-compatible game will appear.

Oh, and EVE is a cool game.  I've never had the time to properly devote myself to it, but what little I've played was impressive.  300k devoted and rabid maniacs = my kind of population.

Why are companies shooting for the stars?  They need to do like indie film houses, spend a modest amount to make quality games that cater to specialized, though sizable groups of gamers.  There is much more longevity and growth in that kind of a model vs. one size fits all redundancy...

Then again, I don't think a game like EVE was exactly planned with a specific marketing plan in mind =/

Originally posted by colep53
Originally posted by MustaphaMond
Originally posted by colep53

I find myself enjoying games and quests much more when I actually take the time to read and get into the story. We all need to just slow down a little and enjoy these games. Many of them are full of great lore and actually have some really good writing.

 

You can take a pile of crap and wrap it up in big pretty bow, but at the end of the day... you still have the same shit you started with...

Kill X mobs and bring Y items as proof... deliver this item to this place... or, if we really want to throw you a curve ball... pick up an item from some place and bring it here... or, whoa, watch it now... this one is a mind-bender.... bring item X to me AND kill Y number of mob Z.... and bring me....

it's all the same, the same, the same.  With rare exception, MMO's are crap for content.  The story is a ad hoc bandaid to hold a generic themepark world of boring "fun" together....


 

Please tell me somthig else that doesnt envolve anything thats going on now. These type of quests make up sngle player games as well. Its the story behind them that makes them different.

 

I don't understand what your first sentence means.

These types of quests are boring and unoriginal in single player games, as well... despite whatever way they fit into the overall story.

Your third point assumes MMORPG's have shown any ability to create worthwhile back stories.  I think there is more evidence that the majority of MMO's slop some half-baked story together around some equally ill-conceived game engine.  They have crappy stories, incomplete and insulting lore, and appeal to the lowest common denominator.  If you are willing to recommend some that you like and that have rich/immersive storylines, I'm open to your suggestions.

Still... gamers are quite sophisticated and bring a vast background knowledge of religion, art, and history to a gaming experience/world.  It makes for very tough, though honest critics.  With rare exception, a lot of the "back story" in MMO's = garnish, little more.

Games have the ability to tell the GREAT STORIES and to become a kind of mythology for our generation.  They are great vehicles for artifice and allow for an amazing level of self/group expression.  To squander that for repetitive mini-games, and boring ones at that, is disappointing... not fun.

It's a formula, and last time I checked... formula is for INFANTS.  We want freedom within a deep, structured, immersive world.  If an NPC wants something from me, it better make a difference and be worth my while to pursue.  Otherwise, YAWN... I will go run around and kill stuff without cause or reason and just freaking pretend I am doing it for the betterment of my realm, because I'm a RPG'er like that, you know? ;^_^

Collect/kill missions are like watching a rerun of your favorite TV program.  Enjoyable?  Yes.  Makes you feel good?  Of course.  Replaces the actual thrill of something new?  Hardly.

Originally posted by colep53

I find myself enjoying games and quests much more when I actually take the time to read and get into the story. We all need to just slow down a little and enjoy these games. Many of them are full of great lore and actually have some really good writing.

 

You can take a pile of crap and wrap it up in big pretty bow, but at the end of the day... you still have the same @*(+ you started with...

Kill X mobs and bring Y items as proof... deliver this item to this place... or, if we really want to throw you a curve ball... pick up an item from some place and bring it here... or, whoa, watch it now... this one is a mind-bender.... bring item X to me AND kill Y number of mob Z.... and bring me....

it's all the same, the same, the same.  With rare exception, MMO's are crap for content.  The story is an ad hoc bandaid, an afterthought used only to hold a generic themepark world of boring "fun" together while more worthless "features and upgrades" are heaped on top of the steaming pile of....

I know it's not that new.  Just frustratingly unrealized. ;^_^

I like reading some of the post on the forums here though, because it reminds me about why I play video games (or at least why I love to and wish I could considering how busy I normally am in everyday life)...

I can almost see the game that you (and other people) describe when they talk about "what if..." instead of "why not."  I can be pretty negative about some games and their faults, but I always like ideas.

It would be incredibly fun to think about laying out city ramparts/barriers/walls, agricultural fields in proximity to water/possible irrigation (if your scholars unlocked that technology or you bartered for it with other players/cultures/cities).... contending with aging structures and having to grapple with the choice to demolish and build a more "modern" facility vs. endless remodels (that are never quite as good as a new build)....

What you describe would perfectly fit the concept of the great city states (e.g., Troy, Athens, etc.).  Players would strive, both competitively and cooperatively, to build cities of their dreams, possibly forming loose alliances and "cultures"... grouping for mutual defense/trade/exchange and possibly foregoing military all together (except for maintaining a NATO type army for mutual self defense)... These cities would require careful planning, but still allow players to toy with the aesthetics of variety in lay out, structures, architectural styles.... etc., etc., etc.

::sighs::

I think a lot of people here are tired of MMO's that hint at this kind of stuff.  We want to see a game take some of the best facets of other games, then adds original and new elements, and somehow combines it all in an intuitive (though deep), coherent whole.  It will come.  It will come.  You gotta believe (to quote the sage).

I was a voracious consumer of all games years back, now hardly even a novice dabbler... but, the great ones are there, in the wings/shadows.  Probably the sleeper title that none of us are even remotely aware of.  There are probably several of these surprise games bubbling under the surface now... City buildling games lag behind, as usual... but hopefully the bastards come up with something and throw us a bone, and more to yoru point, they include classical periods/conventions too.

very cool ideas in OP (and follow ups).  I think I can tell what kind of a game you mean.  It would be amazing, especially given how important regional and geographical placement of resources/structures could prove.

A game like this, especially with an extremely dynamic element of human unpredictability and the randomness of being somewhat connected to the other players int he world = infinite replay value.  I would love it.

Nice idea.

Oh... and one more thing, citiesxl looks cool, but MC is known for their rather "sim light" approach to city building games.  Who knows, though.  Maybe it would offer deeper gameplay than previous stuff they've released...

Originally posted by JB47394

Hopefully, players would get into the habit of spotting characters by their gear first, and confirming who they're looking at by a quick 'glance' at the character's face. If you don't know who the character is, you don't know their name. To make that work would require a certain amount of stability in character gear over time. If the gear is constantly changing, players would be obligated to identify characters by their faces. The faces don't change.

 

This is a very cool idea.  In fact, it's so compelling to me because there is a possible historical precedent for it.  And it would just be pretty damn cool to live in a gaming world where people actually had to pay attention to those around them and how they fit into that world.

.....

I remember reading something about how in classical societies warriors/knights/etc. of unknown origins would flip up the face guard attached to their helmets as they approached each other (or lift up their hats/helmets).

Doing so signaled respect and (at least temporarily) peaceful intentions... flipping up your mask allowed the other stranger to see you... the real you, and it also was a good faith gesture because by opening up a delicate part of the body to an attack (the face), you show your adversary that you are willing to give diplomacy a chance.

Plus, in order to flip your mask up and keep it up, you need a free hand (which means you have to sheath your sword)... another gesture which greatly reduces your potential threat  and ability to defend yourself.

This practice of flipping ones mask up/removing ones helmet/hat, etc., etc., is possibly the basis of the modern salute.  There are other theories, but just think of the way a knight or warrior would hold their hand as they flipped up their mask and held it open.  It's a probable basis for where the salute came from....

.....

Now, imagine this in game.  You are traveling along, and notice somebody approaching from a distance.  They are wearing strange armor, a suit that you've never seen, and you don't recognize the coat of arms or colors they are displaying.  As they approach, you worry if you are facing a quick PK death and the loss of what little loot you are carrying on you in these troubling times....

But, as the stranger approaches (and you desperately zoom in on their covered face, hoping to figure out who it is that's about to kill you), they pop open their helmet and there, under all of that scary armor, advancing fast... much. too. fast. is.........

your stupid damn friend, sporting an obnoxious grin, as he starts bragging on his new suit of XYZ armor... just before you not-so-stealithy stab him in the face and laugh at his PC's body slowly dropping to the ground.... that will serve him right for scaring the crap out of you, then rubbing it in your face like that... won't it?

;^_^

I think most of us would agree that MMORPG's are suffering the same fate RPG's in general did back in the day (as with any "fringe" thing that becomes mainstream).... Naturally, it's heartbreaking to watch..... ;>_<

The reality is that as something becomes mainstream, commodified, formulaic and cookie cutter... all the original charm, draw, and excitement it held for its fans disappears.  Poof.  Gone.

I liked the earlier comment that the geek factor of these games has up and died.  And so with it dies our dreams...

On one hand, it is cool that a whole variety of people share the experience of gaming and enjoying a virtual world.  I do somewhat agree with a "the more the merrier" mentality.  However, there's still something to be said to being a part of a very dedicated/rabid group that is so into what they are doing, individual group members have a wonderful time because the group itself makes the experience so fun.

This move from fringe to mainstream happens everywhere.  We saw the same thing happen to SP RPG's in the 80-90's...  As game companies realized RPG's could spell profits comparable to more mainstream fare, the days of original, ground-breaking, "geeky" games were numbered.  Now you have more kiddie RPG's than you can count, and while some ground-breaking stuff is still out there, most of what you find is watered down bunk that is merely following a formula in the pursuit of profits (just like your typical MMORPG).

It's not like there are NO great single player RPG's being made anymore, or that there aren't still some quality MMORPG's out there... but, they are rarer and rarer (while the vast majority = recycled crap).

Just like Hollywood blockbusters geared toward massive audiences that actually flop because they are so dumbed down and predictable, with the current "big money" atmosphere in gaming, you get bland, boring, predictable crap meant to make money in the mainstream.

The sad reality is that, more or less, the video game industry is Hollywood v2.0 and except for the indie houses, and some remaining evidence of *quality* programming still coming from some Japanese gaming houses, we should just get used to a huge pile of crap to dig through in hopes of finding a pony....

Almost anybody loves going to the movies to enjoy the new flashy CGI effects and stadium style seats, the amazing make up and technology that pushes the limits of what is possible... but, how often have you gone to some big blockbuster and left feeling empty, unsatisfied?  Not exactly unstimulated, but unmoved.  The pretty bells and whistles, the style, can only carry the work of art so far if what matters, its substance, is lacking.

Welcome to what it means when you, as with most halfway intelligent people, become desensitized to the smoke and mirrors of flashy gimmicks and sadly hunger for something, ANYTHING, of substance.  We live in an empire burlesque.  A mad world of parody and imitation.  It's why those rare nuggets and flashes of brilliant originality become such popular games/series/etc.

The people are starved for substance, be it in MMO's or otherwise.

I put a "7" ... it's important, but not the end all.  Your outside appearance and the gear you wear (if that is somewhat specialized too) can greatly influence how other players interact with you... However, your skill and attitude/imagination also determines a lot of what you will experience, so I don't think the visual is *that* important, but it's still important.

I hate games where the characters are almost paper doll cut outs of each other, though...  Variety is the spice of life, and in a virtual world that's supposed to be geared around RP'ing... well, the appearance of your character to other players *should* matter.

Originally posted by JoeShmo2

Most of the people that say, "NO!  Of course I'm not satisfied with games nowadays!!"

Will absolutely never, in a million years, find a game that you can enjoy without b$%^&ing about something.

 

You will never be satisfied and thats why your here.  And thats why i feel sorry for you, you pessimistic spoiled brats. 

Well, if wanting a bit more than carebear/"hold my hand the whole game" style gameplay makes me a spoiled brat, sign me up.  I've been playing MMORPG's since UO, had some experience with MUDs before that, and I can say that except for some nice flashy gfx improvements and some new bells and whistles, the gameplay itself has steadily gotten worse and worse as games are geared more toward casual style play.

It's not even that casual play ruins a game, it's how devs are making games so freaking easy there's just no reason to play.  You know, some of the "pessimists" are just players who enjoy challenges and like to actually have to think and somewhat fear their decision to venture into a dangerous area or attempt a risky synth... not just "run to point A, collect 100 Y's, and bring them back + here's a cool new weapon, now wasn't that fun?!"...

If I'm a spoiled brat for wanting a game that is hard, is deep with a well developed world that you *WANT* to immerse yourself in, and has a lot of group + soloable content to keep you busy while you are exploring/crafting/whatever... well, then so be it.  FFXI is the last game I've played where I felt like the devs pushed any limits whatsoever...  Granted, there were serious problems with RMT and the economy and many aspects of the game where way too hard for a mainstream audience... Yet, I could still see an improvement over what came before.  Most importantly, I could tell the devs had looked at previous MMORPG's and tried to learn from the earlier games' successes/failures.  I don't see the same type of creative trouble-shooting/planning in the current crop of releases.  Just recycled sludge....

Many feel WoW improved many features from earlier games too, but considering how long it came out after FFXI, I've always felt like WoW was a cheap/cartoony imitator that coddles its players and sacrifices hard work and real emotional investment in a character/guild/task/whatever and replaces it with supposedly "fun" hand holding.  FFXI isn't terribly original given that many of its better features are just streamlined improvements taken from other games...

So, back to the poll... I put a solid "Not Really" because considering the current crop of games, there just is very little out there that goes beyond the basic formula.  For a long time, I've felt like MMO's are limited by the technology limitations of their users and while many of the ideas, the IP dev, the game engines, etc. = great, by and large the actual execution sucks so badly that current MMORPG's are doing a poor job carrying the mantle forward for the next few years.

Save SE's "Rapture," nothing right now interests me.  EVE Online has the challenge I crave (and deep economy), but some of the immersion I'd like is lacking.  WoW is just too easy and I don't feel like I've achieved anything when I play it, whereas FFXI left me w00t'ing it up when I got one lousy ding... even at early levels.  Then, that leaves scores of faceless, recycled ideas that mostly share their mediocrity and their haphazard implementation (not to mention the fact that they just aren't very fun).

Always with the great concepts/ideas, but the execution is lacking.  It reminds me of what game companies did right before the huge industry crash in the 80's.  Spend your money on marketing, creating (or buying) an IP, and make your money back + profit off the suckers who buy your title before playing it.  Rinse and repeat.... rinse and repeat (that is until people wise up, stop buying, and then your whole industry almost collapses).

I fear we're not seeing progress and, in fact, we're seeing a real digression in MMORPG's.  Unless some of the newer games by SE or some of the other major players like Blizzard or Bioware get back to dynamic gameplay and worlds that we want to immerse ourselves in, well... stick a fork in this genre, 'cause it's done.

bump because of my love for ffxi and anticipation of more news about this game come June... This former Taru WHM/Cook/Fisherman *can't* wait to immerse himself in a world like that again... <(;^.^)>

While FFXI had serious problems and SE is far from perfect, it was still a great game and nothing I've played sense has really hit me that way.  I loved that the whole themepark/sandbox/grindfest/endless questing complaints disappear if your mind is in the right place and you have good people to play with.  That's true with any game, I know... but, for me, FFXI offered a lot of space to imagine and lose yourself in the game... I haven't found other companies achieving that power in their game worlds...

And, because SE has shown they know how to make a product with a great amount of depth and variety (both supplied by devs and created by the player's imagination)... I've been licking my chops over this one for a long, long, long time.  Hopefully, they learned from their past mistakes too and will understand how to spot huge problems that are destroying their gaming world (e.g., RMT).

Here's a pretty good website with a variety of news (nothing that hasn't been covered here, though... at least from what I can tell): http://squaremmo.blogspot.com/

IMHO, the E3 announcement and rumored Q4 2009 release points to a release around the holidays.  The real question is.... where?  Is this a JPN first, the NA release?  Or simultaneous?  Of course, it would be a great Christmas present (and would make SE tons of money).  I really hope they release it this winter and not in 2010.  The more time spent building up to a game, the higher the risk of an epic failure.  But, you know... this little thing called "reality" says it will probably be 2010 after all.  I prefer to ignore reality, though...

I think gaming companies need to realize a short period of intense hype (say... a few months building up to the holidays) is probably much better for selling games like MMO's... because, as anybody can tell by reading the forums here, giving months and even years for fanboys/girls to pick their beloved game apart is much more damaging than whatever publicity it provides... When it comes to otaku scrutinizing every detail of a game well before its release, there really is such a thing as bad press after all... <(;-_-)>

Originally posted by royhazuki84

I've just noticed that playing games these days the majority of people I encounter are ages 10 to 18.

They are just louder than the old fogies like us... a lot louder.  I'm 27 and I don't consider *anybody* too old to play a game as long as they are serious about it, are giving it a fair shot, and doing their best to become immersed in the experience/fun (I know it sounds weird, but you can be serious about having fun)... 

But, now, is it possible for a gamer to be too young...? Yes.  And age, that is the actual # of years you've been on this rock, has nothing to do with it.  It's all about attitude and maturity.

I've encountered players in their early teens who had the right idea and approach to MMO's... who were just as capable and fun to play with as some of my best guildmates (who are in their late 20's/early 30's).

Then again, I've encountered "older" players who reminded me of crude/stupid frat boys (or junior high jocks/bullies who think something like farting on a friend is the end all in entertainment).

Essentially, it all boils down to how you carry yourself, not your age.  Unless you're using TS or know the players in RL, people rarely care enough to find out how old you are, let alone worry about it if they happen to find out.  Of course, if you're playing with very immature players, age probably pops up as a "pissing contest" type of thing (e.g., "I know better because I'm older/have been gaming longer/etc.").  Still, it's not really a big deal unless you make it one.

All this is said despite the fact that gaming with people of your own generational subset can enchance the experience (sometimes).  What I mean is... gaming with somebody who grew up watching the same TV shows/cartoons... playing the same games at about the same age as you were... those things make it a little easier to bond while chatting during downtime.

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