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A Gamer's Perspective

In this blog I'll be blogging about anything from MMOs to PC game releases (old and new). My mission is simple: Blog from MY perspective and mine alone. I am the gamer after all. Warning: There may be some ranting involved. Enjoy (or not).

Author: Razeekster

Shroud of the Avatar: The Proverbial Rich Man's MMO

Posted by Razeekster Wednesday November 13 2013 at 12:32AM
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Shroud of the Avatar is a new kind of phenomenon in the MMO landscape. A game I so wanted to love and help shape as a player when I first heard about it's Kickstarter. Right away though I heard the bells and whistles ringing. I heard the call of the monster demanding it's maw be filled with a substantial amount of cash. It was the different pledge levels that caught my eye in particular. 

  • Pledge $400 or more
Want to be a part of the Development process? This is the level for you! Gain access to the private Developer Chat/Forums and help participate in guiding the game (estimated Developer Chat/Forums access in April 2013). You also get to help create a character in the game as well as name them. When everything’s said and done, we’ll put together a PDF document of various concepts and design documents. 
I knew as soon as I saw that, that Shroud of the Avatar wanted to go a different route when it came to their game. It was a game that wasn't going to rely on the masses to shape it and make it what it should be. It was a game that was going to shaped by the upper class. 
And already I began to be proved correctly when I saw what the chat was shaping into on Shroud of the Avatar's website. Clique's began to form at a rapid pace, and guess what people these cliques revolved around? The people who had Developer's status or higher. These people were the one's who were going to shape the game because they were the only ones allowed in guiding the game through the Developer Chat/Forums. I'm sure in some players heads that meant "make friends with them or get out."
Do you really think it was the developers alone who decided that housing was going to be a nickel and dime affair? Of course not. The upper class players were part of the process too. You know why? Because they can afford to buy several of the houses. The rich are going to be the ones who own all the land and plots. Then they will sell the houses and plots of land for twice or maybe even triple the amount on eBay.
This will become a cycle. The common people who can only afford $15 a month subscription game's will not be able to afford to play the Shroud of the Avatar as it is meant to be played because it has already been so substantially shaped by the upper class that there is no hope for the normal players to be able to even play the game with all the features everyone that participated in the Kickstarter was promised.
That's right. Richard Garriott is basically telling a large percentage of the people who helped shape his career and the large sums of cash he now has to "screw off" and find another game. And this is why I can only see this game going a few ways as of now.
  1. The rich will monopolize Shroud of the Avatar, creating an economy that no normal player will be able to ever aspire to. This will begin with housing but quickly move onto crafting and other important aspects of the game. Basically like real life but worse because this was meant to be a game to escape real life.
  2. Shroud of the Avatar will not be able to succeed because it has decided to depend on only the upper class for cash support (there are lower class options, but normal people will soon grow wise to how these don't really provide crap for them and no longer spend money on them). The upper class will move on, bored of Shroud of the Avatar because they have been able to buy everything with real cash, and so have received no lasting feelings of achievement from Shroud of the Avatar.
  3. Shroud of the Avatar will be able to survive alone on cash from the upper class who are willing to spend exorbitant amounts of cash on the game.
If you haven't noticed by now a large portion of this blog entry is filled with satire, but it does ring with hints of truth. Unless Shroud of the Avatar begins listening and treating all of it's players equally when it comes to such things as important as housing, I really don't see a lasting future for the game.
There obviously needs to be some compromise and money made. I just don't understand why this can't be done through a cash shop since this is going to be an online game. It's already buy-to-play so I honestly don't understand the need for what I view as nickel-and-diming (more like a hundred dollar billing).
Opinions? Share below, but remember to respond reasonably. That means no name calling or just stating things like "I don't agree" or "This article sucks." If you have criticism form it constructively.

Why I think developers & gamers are some of the worst people around

Posted by Razeekster Sunday June 16 2013 at 6:48AM
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These are my three reasons why developers and gamers in general are some of the worst people (in my opinion).


1) Racism: This one is mostly for MMO developers. A lot of MMOs don't give you the option to make a black character. For example in Mabinogi, they have elves and the elves all live in a harsh and hot desert environment. Now, genetically this is bound to produce at least some black-skinned elves, right? Right?! Well... Apparently not in Mabinogi! Mabinogi has a 100% pure white elf population... That all live in the desert (cus' logic doesn't exist in Erinn1).


It's not only developers though as gamers seem to love the word "n*gger" and are some of the most racist bunch of people that I've ever had the displeasure of being in the same games with. At least that's what many general chats seem to tell me. I've played with a few Africans and African Americans in MMOs and actually asked them on the matter and what I got was that they just basically get used to it and usually don't even share their race with other players because of it. As a gamer and a human being I find this just to be unacceptable, but what the hell can I do? Nothing really, as this seems to be the mentality of gamers.


2) Homophobia: Games in general don't give players gay/lesbian options. It's always straight or nothing. When Mass Effect 3 gave gamers gay/lesbian romance options outrage ensued. It's mostly the gay romance options that caused the mass (get it... "Mass." Mass Effect... Nevermind *cough-cough*) amounts of rage. In fact when a video was leaked showing off the gay-romance option on youtube there were disgusting displays of hate and some of the worst homophobic comments I've ever seen being spewn forth from gamers. The video has over 3000 dislikes as of now with only 2000 and something likes.


As soon as ME3 came out players went out in large numbers to give the game scores of 1.0 and 2.0 on Metacritic simply because it had the gay-romance option, even though the game never forces you to have this romance option (in fact you can go through the whole game without doing any of the romance options). And please, don't tell me it was because of the game itself when thousands of people were giving this game these scores on the first day the game was released (it takes more than 24 hours to finish the game).

It's not only the unwillingness from developers to create games that have gay characters (which serves to make games unrealistic since come on, there are gay/lesbian humans in the real world, but games? There's no such thing silly!) or the many jerkwads of the games from the PC or console world (console gamers really love the word f*g. I'll give you a hint: it rhymes with nag), but also the gamers of MMOs.


After console gamers, I've honestly never met a more homophobic bunch. For example, after Corpsegrinder went on a rant about how non-hetersexual the Alliance was in WoW and made some extremely rude and basically homophobic comments that were caught on video (at BlizzCon), you know what Blizzard did? They actually showed the clip and then let Corpsegrinder play at BlizzCon! Yes they rewarded the band after a rant that included words such as "c*cks*cker." And players loved it! For the video here's a link (be warned, some brain cells may be fried in the process of watching the clip):


3: Sexism: Good freaking, mighty sploosh of a fluck, gamers and game developers are some of the most sexist people around. If games such as Queens Blade and the fact that in SWTOR you can have a shock-collar-wearing female slave that you can abuse in multiple ways (something that I saw many Sith Warriors actually bragging about in general chat, and no these weren't role players) doesn't prove that then I don't really know what does besides the constant barrage of breasts that I am assaulted with in any given MMO or video game. I wouldn't be bothered about this at all if males were given the same treatment, but I rarely see scantly clad males in games. The thing is it completely breaks immersion for the most part, as males are given realistic armor that looks like it would actually protect them while females are given a type of armor that befits more of a stripper lifestyle.


As a side-note, I do think that Bioware had less to do with the general sexism and horrid treatment of slaves within SWTOR, and that the Star Wars IP had more to do with that as Star Wars has had a rampant history with sexism within it's lore. In fact, in Del Rey’s nine novel series Fate of the Jedi, a first major anti-slavery movement in the galactic history is revealed to be just an evil plot by a group of Sith (for the nerds and non-nerds of Star Wars... I'm a Star Wars nerd *cough-cough*).


Those are the three major reasons that make me think that developers and gamers are generally some of the most foul people on the Earth. Now before people start giving me angry comments and ranting at me, I will say, I have met very wonderful and kind people in MMOs and in the gaming community as a large that are respectful and accepting of all sorts of people be they gay/lesbian or of a different ethnic group. The sad thing is that because these are of such a rare variety, even in guilds deemed "family-like-guilds" I never have the urge to share gender orientation. When some of these guilds have asked me if I had a girlfriend I just simply say "no" and move on. And I usually suggest the same to other gay gamers because when it comes down to it, it really isn't worth the hate, or the hurt feelings it creates. I've experienced enough of that to leave a lasting bitter taste in my mouth.


And I suppose in the end sexism will reign supreme in the gaming and MMO market (I don't know how it can continue to last with more and more female gamers coming into the picture but I guess I'll see).


Anyways, that's my rant for today, share your thoughts and opinions and remember to please keep it civil.


1. Errin refers to the game-world which Mabinogi takes place in.

Why Private Servers Are Sometimes Better Than The Main Servers

Posted by Razeekster Tuesday May 14 2013 at 12:23PM
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Many players flock to private servers for different reasons. Some because they can't afford to pay for a subscription of the game they want to play so they figure, hey might as well see if a private server version is any good. Some because the game has an extremely high exp. requirement and a lot of private servers lower the exp. requirement or boost the exp. gain a player can acquire. This also goes hand-in-hand with players who simply don't want to go through the process of taking a month or two to fully level their character to max level because in most games these days, the fun comes at endgame (which makes little sense to me because this makes it so a lot of players end up quitting before they even reach endgame simply due to the fact that it's b-o-r-i-n-g). So you might ask what is my reasoning that private servers are sometimes better than the real game servers? Mines pretty simple: Community.

In private servers communities are more often tightly-knitted and feel more like a group of great online friends than in some of the best AA+ game's main servers. You might ask, why is this? My reasoning is this: There are fewer players in a private server. Fewer players mean that new players coming into a private servers have limited choices when choosing which guild to join. This creates a sense of community in itself because everyone knows each other and the guild is their for the players whereas a lot of main servers, the players are there for the guild. 


Another reason why community is often times better in private servers is because due to the lower population and the fact that a lot of the players know each other in private servers there is absolutely no way a player can afford to have a bad reputation. Otherwise you'll be finding it impossible to get grouped for dungeons and raids. And if you can't get grouped for dungeons and raids then there's no way for you to gain that gear or loot that you so desperately need to improve in the game. If you can't get geared up and are a PvPer you might as well just throw any chance you have in any type of PvP situation.



These are just a couple reasons off of my head that I believe private servers have much better communities than the main servers do. So how can the main servers of games go about fixing their community problems? I think it's very simple, actually, and somewhat puzzled why an MMORPG/MMO hasn't gone and done it yet. I believe that the main servers of games should create more servers and make a population cap for each server that makes it so the max number of players for each server is maybe four thousand instead of ten thousand (these are examples as I'm not sure on the exact population numbers that main servers do have). By putting a cap on server population you put pressure on players to act like respectful human beings that actually look out for one another.


Of course there may be some reasonable reasons as to why companies running their main servers simply can't do this. Money would be a big issue because if you capped a servers population to a certain number of players than the requirement for other servers might be too much for a company to afford. Maybe this is one of the reasons that I enjoy those dead servers that companies refuse to merge and that so many players complain about...


So what do you guys think? Do you think I'm dead wrong? Do you have other reasons that private servers may be better (or even may not be better)? Let me know what you think and may the game be ever in your favor.