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All Posts by Nifa

All Posts by Nifa

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322 posts found
Originally posted by SoulSurfer

 

He doesn't need to. He is too cool.  Just look at the pic of the Hospital he was born at. 

 

I could be mistaken, considering the President is about 10 or so years older than me, but I'm pretty sure Tripler Army Medical Center was re-built or redesigned since President Obama was born. ;)  Most major military medcens in the  Western Regional Medical Command, which Tripler fell under when I served in that command in the early 90's (and several outside of that command), have been.  Still, it does have a gorgeous campus, doesn't it?

Regarding the OP, no, I do not believe the President hates white males aged 30+.  He's been quoted numerous times as telling the very people who "got" him elected that he cannot be a "black president" because he has been elected the President of the United States and all her citizens.  That makes it clear to me at least that President Obama does understand that the office to which he has been elected and appointed by the people (and no, I did not vote for him) does not allow him to pick and choose a race or age group whose interests he will represent above all others.  Certainly, as a human being, he probably has his preferences, but he clearly understands the need to at least try to represent all citizens, regardless of age, race, religion, sexual preference, background, or any other number of possible reasons to choose one group over another.

Regarding AZ's new immigration law yes, there are American-born individuals of Latin descent who have been targeted already.  One such individual, a 20-year-old college student who was born in Tucson and who is a US citizen by birth, has already been stopped at least once and carries her driver's license, her student ID, and her passport with her everywhere she goes to prove her right to be in the country and state in which she was born.  I fully agree that something needs to be done in border states such as AZ, NM, CA, and TX (where I live) about illegal immigration.  Other states, such as NC, OK, and even WA (though WA's issue is more with Asians than with Mexicans, in my experience), also have serious illegal immigration problems.  The answer is not, however, turning these states into forms of "police states" and removing the rights of American citizens to be in their own country is not the answer, in my opinion.  The answer is clearly laid out by the powers given to the Federal Government by the Constitution to protect our borders - powers which our government has thus far refused to enact due to fear of upsetting our Mexican neighbors.  As others have stated, this is one time when the Federal Government could step in and do its job, and I suspect that few Americans would become outraged: eliminate Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare, Food Stamps, Educational (did you know that in some parts of NC, such as Charlotte, part of the public school system has been changed so that in the public schools, native-born American children cannot attend some public schools near their homes in their districts if they are not 80% fluent or better in Spanish and are bussed out to other schools?), Healthcare (emergency and hospital), translation, and any other publicly-provided service (including DMV, buses, insurance, vehicle licensing and registration and insurance) to those who are not here legally and cannot prove via a green card or visa that they are here legally.  Connect all public service systems to the INS database and refuse all public care of any sort to anyone who cannot prove that they are not a citizen or are not here legally.

I fully support legal immigration.  My great grandparents emigrated here from Scotland and Germany, respectively. Many of my friends are legal immigrants who have gained their full citizenship and I have been proud to attend their oaths of citizenship ceremonies.  It is so very fascinating to me that every single one of my immigrant friends who have come here legally are positively incensed by these illegal immigrants who believe that they do not have to obey the laws of this nation and come here legally.  When immigrants and green card holders who have gone through the proper process to legally enter the country want the illegals out and believe strongly that the illegals are wrong, I personally find it terribly hard to find any sympathy whatsoever for those who come here illegally, no matter what their reason for coming.

Outstanding article and I had to giggle - I've been calling that stupid thing the "My Little Pony that craps stars and rainbows"  since the first time I saw someone with one.  

I guess if folks have nothing better to spend $25 on, more power to 'em.  I'll stick to my giant psychedelic chicken, thanks.

I've used it.  It is a great mouse.  I have a bit of trouble with it due to nerve damage in my right hand that makes it hard for me to feel which button is under my thumb, but for everyone else, it's a great tool.  As the poster above said, though, you can get into some fatigue problems, so it's a matter of mapping keys appropriately for your use.

The two top buttons could be moved a bit for ease of use like the Logitech side buttons are, but otherwise, I found it to be pretty impressive.

 Or a hybrid with a small monthly base plus a usage-based component?  No particularly good reasons that I can think of, which would seem to point toward a dearth of thinking outside the box in order to formulate additional choices aimed at consumers whose purchase criteria don't completely fit the current options. 

 

This kind of pricing would be brilliant, in my opinion.  It might get me back into some games that I just don't want to fully sub back into, but do enjoy every now and again for a few hours here and there.  I wouldn't mind paying five bucks for a weekend of some games every so often, but I'm really not all that whipped out on the idea of a full month's sub just to play one weekend a month or so.

Originally posted by Amaranthar
Originally posted by Scot

Nifa – I did a poll on here, 75% would prefer their MMO to up the subscription rather than get a cash shop in to fund rising costs or an expansion. But MMO companies are not bringing in cash shops to fund rising costs or expansions. They are bringing them in to make a shed load of money at your expense.

Unfortunately, we folk here are more heavily into gaming, while there's a much, much larger subset of more casual gamers who don't look at MMOs quite the same way. For them, cash shops are fine because they don't really care about the game or how it's played. They just try it out and if they like it all is good. But we, whether we are "sandbox" or "level grind", we have expectations. We have a clearly defined game that we want. However that world is presented, we expect a "world" in a game and cash shops don't jive with that. It's not a game if you can buy teh win. There's a competitive edge there, we expect that just as any world has natural selection of one kind or another. Those others, those casual gamers without expectations, they just don't care about that.

My apologies, Scot, I don't recall having seen your poll on the subject.  As I've said, I would be more than happy to pay a higher subscription to fund rising costs as well.

But I think that Amaranthar really hit the nail on the head with his (or her?) post in that I believe there is a vast difference between the majority of those of us who read the information here and post on these forums and more "casual" players. While 75% of those of us who are members here would be more than happy to pay more in order to get rid of cash shops, I do wonder what might happen to the populations of various games if a similar poll showed that 75% of casual players weren't willing to do so.  

Granted, those of us who game more seriously and heavily might be a lot happier (I'll be honest, I'm already kind of nauseated by having to look at that blasted Celestial Steed everywhere I go), but I wonder if there'd be enough population left for us to play with in some games with lower subscription numbers if cash shops didn't exist for the more casual players who are happy to fork over real world cash for a character race, mount, or a one hour XP bonus.

In my opinion, any game that piques your interest is worth trying, especially if it offers a free trial.

Getting opinions from others who can knowledgeably discuss a game's strong and weak points so I know what to expect is something I personally like to do so that I go in with my eyes open to what I may run into, but I try not to let others make up my mind for me when it comes to games.  I know better than others what I can and can't tolerate as far as glitches and bugs and game mechanic problems, so I'll always at least give a game a try before I decide whether or not it's for me.

Personally, I gave WAR two shots, both for a couple of months and found both times that it just wasn't for me.  But everyone has different likes and dislikes and you just never know unless you try it. ;)

I think the answer to your question really depends on you: what is your playstyle? How much time do you want to invest into the game? What is it you are looking for? What kinds of things do you enjoy most in a game?

Are you a more casual player who really only wants to spend 30-60 minutes here and there as time allows?  Do you want to solo or group or does it matter to you?  Are you gear/loot oriented, PvE-oriented, PvP-oritented, crafting-oriented, RP-er?  Different games cater to different playstyles more than others, some have a little something for everyone, some do one or two things really well, and some, sadly, are more of a "jack of all trades, master of none" experience (in my personal opinion).  Are graphics and mechanics more important to you or is the social aspect?  There are many games with "meh" graphics but great social infrastructure and many games with brilliant graphics and mechanics but "meh" social infrastructure and some games that have both at good or "meh" levels.  

In the end, we can all sit here and tell you what games we have loved, hated, or been lukewarm about, but if the game doesn't fit your particular playstyle, you may end up feeling less than thrilled about it and still be "lost" in your search.

 

Good luck to you and I hope you find the game that is right for you.

Originally posted by MMO_Doubter
Originally posted by Nifa

  Sure, some people, including myself, would be happy to pay up to $20 per month for a polished game that we enjoy.  But I wonder how many players would not be willing to pay the extra and how many games would lose large portions of their playerbases were subscription fees to rise above to $15 per month standard.  Perhaps the cash shops are a means to preventing those huge losses which really would, in my opinion, hurt all of the various gaming communities.

It's at least worth considering, in my opinion, ;)

It is. I do not believe the typical MMO is having any problems making money with a $15 per player sub fee.

That being said - I would be fine with paying (and I have said this before) $30 or even $45 a month - if it was for my ideal game. Before MMOs, I used to spend $100 or more a month on various forms of gaming (I was once into CCGs). The right game would definitely be worth a much larger sub fee. The companies aren't even trying to make those games, though.

And I would agree with you in that assessment. But again, our opinion regarding the current subscription model games on the market is subjective.  There may be millions of players worldwide in various gaming communities who may feel very differently about their game of choice.  Personally, I'm not willing to pay more for WoW, but I know hundreds who might be.  Personally, I'm not willing to pay $1 per month, let alone $15 or more for STO, but there are people who might be.  CCP has a very dedicated fanbase for EVE (which I also play from time to time, and am playing now), and I think it may be safe to presume that a good chunk of EVE players would consider that game worth a few extra bucks a month even if I might not be willing to pay it. Personal tastes in gaming are as varied as they are in clothing or automobiles, so I don't necessarily believe that it's for me to say that there is no game publisher currently making a game that is worth the extra subscription price because the statement is an entirely subjective one that is up to each individual player. ;)

Originally posted by dhayes68

One of the most common defenses I've heard in favor of cash shops is the idea that if the items for sale are purely cosmetic, i.e. they don't affect gameplay, then who cares?

The strange thing about this defense is that it presumes that the only factor that affects gameplay is combat. Clearely this a significant part of this genre is about developing your char and that includes how you char looks, moves, behaves within a persistant world. The idea that only thing that matters is combat seems to fly in the face of the whole concept of the genre in how it differentiates itself from, say, ffa deathmatch maps on your favorite console game.

The other thing that seems strange about the argument that cash shops don't matter if they don't affect combat, is that looking at the reality of the situation, it absolutely clear that given the various companies' reliance on "cosmetic" items in their cash shops, clearly they, and tons of paying customers DO think that these items have an impact on their gameplay.

Now personally I'm anti-cash shop but only cause I'm lazy and when I sit down to play a game I don't want to have to think about real life money while I'm playing. Its kinda counter to the idea that I'm trying to relax and enjoy myself. But I just wanted to point out that the idea that cash shops are ok if they only offer cosmetic items is a paltry defense of the practice.

I have said before and will say again here that I don't necessarily have a problem with cash shops selling purely cosmetic items that don't meaningfully affect gameplay (i.e., they offer no stat bonus or anything that improves the character in any way other than to give them something they believe is pretty to look at.).  But again, this is just how I personally feel about them.  It's not a defense or an attack on the practice, it is just an opinion.

To play a little devil's advocate on the cash shop issue, which I have done before as well, my question regarding the practice of adding cash shops is this:

Is it at all possible that the addition of cosmetic item cash shops to standard subscription fee-based games (I'm talking about the $15 per month model here, so that there is no confusion) is a means for the publisher to raise additional development funds to keep the title running smoothly without raising the subscription cost?

Inflation is up from 5-10 years ago.  Things cost more: wages, power, broadband server connections, phone lines to customer support, fees from chargebacks caused by gold sellers to name but a few of the costs associated with running an MMO.  Yet our cost as subscribers has not gone up from the $15 per month we have always paid.  While I will not unequivocally defend the practice of cash shops or unequivocally state that anything a company anywhere does is not all about profit (because any business is in business to make a profit or it has to go out of business - that's the basic principle of free market economics as I understand it), I do sometimes wonder if perhaps some of the cash shops are not there to keep subscription fees steady in an unstable economy.  Sure, some people, including myself, would be happy to pay up to $20 per month for a polished game that we enjoy.  But I wonder how many players would not be willing to pay the extra and how many games would lose large portions of their playerbases were subscription fees to rise above to $15 per month standard.  Perhaps the cash shops are a means to preventing those huge losses which really would, in my opinion, hurt all of the various gaming communities.

It's at least worth considering, in my opinion, ;)

Originally posted by MMO_Doubter
Originally posted by girlgeek

The above two posts stated things a LOT more concisely than I did.

 

I wish...oh I wish....that I didn't have to type a novel to feel like I was getting my point across. Thank you both.

I like your novels.

 

I do too.  I also like your flowers.  Irises are one of my favorites (see? I do like one girly thing :D)

Originally posted by girlgeek
Originally posted by GTwander

I just don't think people understand the real differences in male/female lifestyles... and first-off, females that do play video games were brought in by a male (brother, friend, boyfriend). I've always wondered what women do with their spare time if they don't play videogames like we do, and then it hit me; TV. Women are just about the only ones still watching TV, and it's showing with the higher volume of chick-shows, and this has definitely been the case with the movie scene too. Games have always been a male-dominated scene, and every attempt to target females fails (i.e. bratz and barbie horse adventures). It's how it is, and you have to admit that chick who play games become creepier in a way. I kinda miss the holier-than-thou attitude from girlfriends that "just don't get it".

 

Nope. Wrong.

I was not brought into gaming by any male. Neither of my parents liked games and still don't. If you count BOARD games...then my family played Monopoly when I was a kid. I do not have any brothers, just one sister.  As far as video games go....I discovered those on my own back in the days of Atari....begged for the system....haven't stopped playing since.  As a matter of fact....I got both of my husbands into gaming and one of my two sons. So even THAT stereotype isn't always accurate.

 

I've always hated television. The only thing I watch on TV is either InSession on CourtTV or on rare ocassion something on Discovery Channel or History Channel...maybe a Forensics show. Never go out to see movies. I subscribe to Netflix and my favorite movies are action or suspense thrillers....I am not at ALL fond of romantic comedies, I think they're about on the same level with soap operas generally....they target women who still live in the delusional fantasy of fairytale romances and Prince Charming. I've been alive long enough to know that those things are complete fantasy. I also read a lot.  No....I don't read romance novels

 

 

Girlgeek and I have a lot in common. I wasn't brought into gaming by a guy - it was the other way around, actually. I got my ex-husband into gaming. He looked at what I was playing and said, "whatcha doing? That kinda looks like fun. Can I try?"  Same with one of my brothers, my ex-husband's father, my ex-husband's uncle, and a few male friends.  While it probably is true about 80% of the time that guys do get their girlfriends, sisters, wives, daughters into gaming, it's also true about 20% of the time that it is the other way around.  The problem with generalizations, in my opinion, is that they're not always 100% correct and end up creating stereotypes that can cause problems within the gaming industry in terms of marketing and community (again, only my opinion).

I tend to be somewhat competitive as well in some of my gaming.  Not to the point that I will scream at people who make mistakes, because everyone makes mistakes - including me.  But I was an athlete in high school and a 4.0 student in college and that does breed a bit of competitiveness in a person which does carry over into gaming.  So again, it's not necessarily true that girl gamers are non-competitive.  We are probably a bit less competitive than many male gamers, sure, because as a general rule, women are very different from men in that regard.  But I don't necessarily agree that it's true or even fair to presume that women are wholly non-competitive.  Again, in my opinion, it's probably an 80-20 percentage or perhaps an 85-15 percentage, but the percentage of competition among girl gamers is there and I don't believe it can be completely ignored.

 

I'm a female gamer and I think for me personally, there are a lot of different factors.

--Gear is important to a point - but only as far as it allows me to enjoy content.  If I'm not forced to get gear to enjoy content, then it's not terribly important to me unless it just is cool aesthetically.

--I do enjoy dungeons, raiding, and generally killing things.  I also happen to love playing L4D and L4D2 (though the new xpac campaign is set to "are you suicidally insane?" mode, which is a little more hardcore than I really am interested in being in any game).  But I don't enjoy the elitist mentality, showing off, rudeness, and general immaturity and sense of entitlement that I see in many game communities today.

--Crafting and the interdependency of craft & tradeskills is an important part of my gameplay.  This is, in my opinion, one thing that SWG did/does well that other games could do much better.  This also contributes to social dynamic and, for lack of a better way to put it, kind of "forces" people to consider their words and actions because, in SWG, if a vendor feels that a player's overall behavior is, as a general rule, obnoxious and inappropriate or if they grossly mishandled a business transaction with, the vendor has the option to bar that player from their shops.  Because of the social and business network and contacts that the vendor has, if the vendor chooses, the vendor can present the situation reasonably to his or her network of contacts, provide evidence for them to evaluate the situation, and, once they've evaluated the situation, they, too, can decide whether or not they would choose to do business with this person (or perhaps even their guild if the situation warrants such drastic measures be taken) in the future.  Anonymous auction houses, over which players have no control, take away this ability for communities to "police" themselves and thus, affect player behavior so that fewer people behave in a manner that is harmful to the overall community.

--Collecting is, occasionally, a fun thing to do.  If there's a pet or some type of "fluff" item in a game that I personally think is just really cool, sure, I'll take the time to do the grinding for it.  Will I collect every pet WoW has to offer just because they are there? Not really.  But if there's something that just really looks amazing to me, I'll go ahead and do a little grinding here and there to get it.  But by the same token, don't turn everything in the game into an achievement or a collection because that gets old really fast.

--Decorating is another thing I can enjoy, but it's not the be-all and end-all for me in a game.  It's nice to have, certainly, but it's not a deal-breaker.

--One thing that is definitely a deal-breaker is terrible game mechanics and ill-conceived lore.  If the mechanics and controls are clunky or I simply spam the same three buttons over and over with no thought or strategy required, the game is not for me.  Likewise, if the "kill ten rats" quest we're all so familiar with has no meaning except to kill ten rats, the game is not for me.  I don't mind killing ten rats, but give me a logical reason for doing it - make me feel as if the actions I am taking serve a purpose other than giving me XP.  Tell me the ten rats are nibbling on the baby's toes and if they break the skin, the baby is going to turn into something that makes a L4D witch seem as harmless as Little Orphan Annie and go on to infect and/or wipe out the entire world, I don't care (well, ok, maybe I do care, because that was very ill conceived and illogical  ;P).  But give me a reason that makes sense with the rest of the lore that you have created for the little world you have given me to play in.  

--Along with that lore, I personally enjoy roleplaying.  That is what MMORPGs are more or less about, in my opinion.  That doesn't mean that I expect everyone else to enjoy it, it just means that it's my opinion that if you're playing an MMORPG on an RP server, it would seem a bit on the rude side to attempt to degrade people who are roleplaying (note: roleplaying here does not mean cybering, for which there are certainly sites somewhere on the internet, I'm sure, but please...those sites do not include area chat in my games.)

--I even enjoy occasional PvP, provided the "trash talk" doesn't degrade to rudeness and personal attacks or insults.  I kind of draw the line at that because I personally feel it is unnecessary.  But again, that is a personal choice.

--I prefer not to use Vent, or rather, not to speak on Vent, unless it is with people I know because my experience over the years with Teamspeak and Ventrilo with people I do not know well has usually gone something like this:

Me: says something related to PvP, dungeon, raid

Multiple male voices: Oh ehm ghee, a girl! Everyone shut up!  Talk again!  A girl's voice! Oh my god, it's so sexy!

That's not an exaggeration - it's actually happened multiple times.  So unless it's my own guild who I've been gaming with for years or others I've known for quite some time, I just mute the mic and say my mic's not working, but my speakers work fine, hehe.

I think it perhaps it would be a better idea if they'd consider letting you choose the days - say 3 Saturdays out of the month.  72 hours straight, considering the recent rash of people who lack common sense in monitoring their own gaming in other countries doesn't seem to me to be the brightest idea SOE's marketing team has ever come up with.  Still the overall idea is a good one:  three days of play for a reduced subscription rate at a time when money is tight everywhere and many people have fewer hours to spend logged in (and with summer rapidly approaching) is really quite brilliant, in my opinion.

Someone else said it already, but I find it holds true for me as well.  When I find myself in the same position where I'm bored to tears leveling or doing just about anything in any game, I just walk away completely for a while.  Go find things to do that don't involve logging in.  A lot of times, that's all it takes.

The problem for me is that so many MMOs these days are the same basic thing with different skins that it can and does get a "been there, done that" feeling pretty quickly.  Sometimes a break is all that's needed.

 

Good luck.

The housing is awesome.  And LoTRO's housing is terrible in comparison.  As in, I refuse to own a house in LoTRO, SWG spoiled me so badly when it came to housing.  You can literally spend hours upon hours doing nothing but decorating the inside of your house - in any way you like.

Not to the same extent that old computers and bad connections will, no.  But there will still be some lag problems and rubberbanding issues, even on a high-end computer with a blazing fast connection.  I had them even on my rig with my connection and with graphics turned down.  Part of it is population, the amount of data in a given area (i.e. people or buildings in an area), the core code of the game engine not really having been updated much in about 5 years, what have you.  But the problems will not be as prevalent for those running better systems with better connections, most likely.

Originally posted by cosy


we need more good Sci-fi games :)

 

Fixed :P

 

In all seriousness, though, cosy is correct in my opinion.  If a studio would make a good fantasy game, I'd play it happily.  The problem is that few studios are willing to even try to make a good fantasy game that is more than just "pew pew layzurz" that can hold players' attention for longer than a month or so.

Originally posted by BadgerSmaker
 

To Nifa,

I don't just look at the GCW ranked players, check my >>> SWG Galactic Civil War and Player City Statistics - 22nd of March 2010 <<< to see how I also factor in player city partcipation.  It's certainly not definitive but does show us trends.

 

Thanks for the clarification, Badger.  

A lot of lag can be cleared up by turning the graphics settings down, to be honest.  Do you really need every single flower or blade of grass to show and wave in the breeze?  Do you need volumetric shadows turned on?  Do you really need all particle effects turned all the way up? (In PvP especially, trust me, you don't want them turned all the way up or it becomes a blinding mess.)  Turning graphics settings down under the options menu can clear up a lot of lag issues in game.

 

There is some lag that is server-side if too many people are in one place at one time.  Period.  It happens in any game.  And when a large part of a game's population is crowded onto fewer servers, that means more people are in a smaller space.  This is just speculation on my part, but I would suppose that when they did the server transfers, they did not also significantly upgrade the server hardware and software to deal with the significantly increased populations.  Yes, that many players and that much data added to the server will affect lag.  I am not attacking Sony or SWG, I am merely stating known fact.

 

Some lag is also caused by the player's ISP.  It cannot all be blamed on the server or the game - the player's internet connection and bandwidth restrictions (yes, Comcast, I'm looking at you and a few other companies) do play a role in lag.

 

And there is some that is coding.  Once there was a huge issue with inventory that players complained about for over a month, but it only affected some of us.  Finally I PMmed a dev with my system specs.  It was quickly determined that, no, it was not a client-side issue as many of the senators and several devs were claiming.  Because I handled it politely and without flaming, my account was cloned on the devs' boxes, the devs found and corrected the coding issue, and the entire population that was affected by the bug got a fix.  The fact is the game is old.  There are hundreds of thousands of lines of code and sometimes code is written today that conflicts with code that was written when the game was in development.  Those things take time to find and correct.

Originally posted by Valeran

 

The GCW update also makes it easy for non combat toons to obtain rank without risk which to me is indicated in the chart. 

I'm not arguing that at all. I'm just asking the question.  Personally, I have always, always, always hated the practice of using GCW rank as a means of attempting to determine server population because it's just not necessarily the most accurate (and GCW senators and devs alike have used it to argue for unnecessary changes to the system, in my opinion) - though I do understand that it is often the best anyone can do because Sony keeps sub numbers very close to the vest as a general rule.  

Whether it's easier to gain rank through PvE or not isn't the question (though the update was necessary, long overdue, and I applaud them for finally getting it done).  Starsider does admittedly have an insanely high pop, evidenced by simply logging into the server.  Honestly, were I Sony, I would strongly consider disallowing any more existing player transfers to that server in order to allow new players to roll there if they wish to do so.  The server's fairly well packed - or it was the last time I logged in right after the update went live.

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