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Nefarious Means

I'm up to no good. I want to get that out of the way right from the beginning, just so there are no questions later.

Author: madeux

It really is over for MOST of us GAMING vets...

Posted by madeux Sunday June 13 2010 at 10:12PM
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It's all been downhill since Pac-Man.  Then came Frogger to corrupt the entire community.  They didn't care about the gamer any more, they just wanted to make money with it.  And don't get me started on Dig Dug...

Someday they'll see that they've been on the wrong track for decades and go back to the beginning and give us what we're all yearning for... a tiny little head that opens and closes while eating dots.

Open Source MMO

Posted by madeux Tuesday October 27 2009 at 3:51PM
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I truly believe that this is what the MMO Genre needs.

Simply put, MMO's are just too expensive to make.  With the astronomical costs involved, the risks of innovating are likewise astronomical, which is why we keep seeing the same "clones" over and over.  The best we can hope for is the standard clone with a new arm, maybe some different hair, but anything past that just can't happen.

I was thinking back to the good old days of the Quake Mod (Yes, I'm old).  I don't know how many of you were aware of, or involved in, the Quake Mod community, but it's something I haven't seen since.

Quake was pretty cool as a game, but the mechanics behind it were phenomenal. id Software, in their infinite wisdom, opened up the game to modders and allowed us to essentially create our own games.  You could literally do anything you wanted and put it out there for everyone to play as long as you gave it away.  And for those who wanted to sell their creations, they made that easy as well.  Many people forget, or never knew, that Half-Life and Counterstrike were just glorified Quake Mods.

Why can't we have that with an MMO?  Let us create our own worlds, develop our own quest chains, and design our own leveling system.  Do you want full loot PvP?  No instances?  Skill based?  The ultimate sandbox? 

I'm not talking about simple tools that will let a bunch of morons put out a bunch of garbage.  I want the framework available so that people with some skills (programming, graphics, animation, music, etc) can come together and put together a niche game that would otherwise be impossible, and then see where it goes from there.

New Auto-Filter Option for the Forums

Posted by madeux Friday October 16 2009 at 1:50PM
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Being able to block users is a great option, one that I have to admit I don't use often enough.  But I would like to see an auto-block option, a filter of sorts, that would just eliminate any post that has certain specific terms.

I'd start with carebear, sandbox, themepark, and fail.

Do you have keywords that automatically tell you that the post is going to be worthless, so there's no need to even continue reading?

Solo vs Group Play: An unnecessary argument

Posted by madeux Thursday October 15 2009 at 11:41AM
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I solo quite a bit.  When I'm in a hurry and can't wait for a group.  When I'm just not in the mood.  When it's an easy quest and I don't want to bother others who don't need it.

I also group up quite a bit.  When I play with friends.  When guild members need help.  When I can't do something on my own.  When I'm in a hurry and it would take too long to do it alone. When I'm bored and can help someone else out and I've got nothing better to do.

I read often from people getting upset at those who start in a group and then have to leave.  I hate it too, and even more I hate being that person.  So my answer to that is to solo... of course, then I have to hear from people complaining that solo players are ruining their game.

Games can, and do, offer a combination of solo and group play.   These are virtual "worlds", right?  And in the real world, people choose to do some things alone, and some things in group.

Let's take mountain climbing.  Thousands of people can all decide to climb the same mountain.  Some people will choose to take a trail, either alone or with some friends.  Some will show up with friends while others will just walk up and enjoy a friendly conversation with however else might be on the path.  Others will group up in order to take a more adventurous route, even going so far as to tether themselves together for safety.  Others may go right for a flat face of the mountain, facing it one on one for a good climb.  Friends may be there, at the bottom or top, offering encouragement or advice, but when it comes down to it, their on their own.  And some may just hang out in a wooded meadow at the base of the mountain, cooking, playing games, or singing songs around a campfire.

It's one mountain, with so many ways to enjoy it.  Is there any need for the rock climbers to bash those on the trail for not enjoying the mountain properly?  Well, that would just be stupid and mean, right?  Just as there is no need for those at the campfire to mock and tease those that are risking their lives on top of the mountain while seeking a sense of accomplishment.

And there's certainly no need to criticize the God who created the mountain for adding all of these great features that let everyone get some enjoyment.

The Current State of the MMO Industry: Not as bad as many would like to think

Posted by madeux Monday October 12 2009 at 2:27PM
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The recent ranting and whining from those who feel the need to call themselves "hardcore" in order to build their egos would have many of you believe that the MMO industry is in a shambles, that no progress has been made in years, or even that negative progress has been made.

Don't fall for the hype.

This talk is coming from a bunch of elitist children who have to have everything their way.  Anything different, anything that doesn't cater to their every whim, is automatically a "fail".  They ignorantly assume that since no MMO company is bending over and kissing their asses, that we should all feel as empty and unfulfilled as their own pathetic existence.

They fail to look at the number of great MMO releases that have come and gone.  They fail to grasp just how much time and effort goes into making an MMO, and what that ultimately means for the rate of change in the industry.  And they also fail to realize that it is their own rantings and behaviors that are bringing the industry down.

MMO's, when done properly, take years to come to fruition.  This means that change to the industry is going to come slowly.  That's just the way it is.  Of course, when a company attempts change and gets bombarded with negative rhetoric from a vocal minority because the change isn't the one they wanted, because it went to far or didn't go far enough, any further changes are going to be even slower in coming forth.  When forums, both this and others, are flooded with this type of garbage, and anyone who likes the game gets flamed for being a fanboy, potential users who many not be as informed are scared away.

How does anyone benefit from this attitude?

Positive reinforcement is what the industry is lacking, and that's a failing of the users, not the developers.  If you don't like a game, don't play it.  Find a game you like and support it, financially and vocally.  Applaud companies for the good things they do.  Don't whine and cry just because you got your hopes up and the game didn't turn out just the way you wanted it.  Let those who enjoy it have their fun, there's no need for you to go shitting on their parade.

MMO's are about community, that's what makes them really different from a standard RPG.  If it's a community of assholes, no matter what the devs have done, the game is going to suck.

Calling for change in the industry is great, but how we go about it is what matters most. 

I would "love" to pay to play an Alpha

Posted by madeux Monday September 28 2009 at 8:11PM
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I don't know how many of you have been following the game Love, but for those you haven't, head over to and check it out.  The game itself deserves it's own blog entry, not to mention some attention from this site in general, but that will have to wait.

Recently it was announced that Alpha testers will have to pay a very small fee.  As you can expect, there was plenty of outrage, but I was also impressed at the great number of people who were more than willing to do this.  Myself included.

This game is unlike any other out there, and is being produced by a single person.  His vision is amazing, and he has managed to draw many of us in.  Simply put, he cannot afford enough servers to accommodate the thousands who have expressed interest in testing the game, so rather than limit the numbers, there will be a small fee, barely enough to cover the cost of servers and bandwidth.

This is not like paying $50.00 bucks to test Mortal Online, or paying full price and a monthly premium to play a game like Fallen Earth that should clearly still be in beta.  If these games were more open about what they're doing, like "Love" currently is, I'd be all for it.  The honesty is very appreciated.

I believe that more indie developers will adopt this sort of model, and I'm looking forward to it.  It ensures that testers are invested into the game.  It allows "niche" games to get the support they need to get off the ground.  And as fans of less "mainstream" games, I think offering a little financial support is a great way for us to encourage the industry to support our needs.

Remember when your Mom use to force you to let your little brother hang out with you?

Posted by madeux Saturday September 26 2009 at 12:15PM
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That's how I feel about forced grouping.

Sometimes I like playing with you.  Sometimes you're ok.  Sometimes you fit right in and it's convenient.  Sometimes I'm just in the mood.

Other times, you're just too much of a hassle.  I'm in a hurry, and I don't have time to deal with you.  I like the challenge of doing things alone.

Sometimes when I go climbing, I do it as a group.  We're tethered together, and if one goes, we all go.  It can't be done alone.

Other times, it's just me and the rock.  Oh, there are other people there, we parked near each other, and might have enjoyed a chat on the way up, but when I'm at the base looking up, there's nobody else.

The best part of it this? It's all on the same mountain.  We don't have to have one mountain for groups, and one for solo players.  Everyone gets to do it how they want.  And, amazing  is it will seem to some of you, people actually CHOOSE to group up when they're not forced to.


Am I supposed to feel ashamed?

Posted by madeux Saturday September 19 2009 at 1:33PM
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I took a long lunch yesterday, a little later than normal, just to make sure that I was home for the Aion character preselection...

I'm not even going to play the game at launch... lol  I'm into another game at the moment, but I expect to be playing this next, and I just couldn't help myself.

I was able to snag the name "Ender" on a pair of servers, one of each flavor.

Yeah, not original... and I'll still play with a few original names that are never taken.  Am I the only one who gets some strange satisfaction over getting a name like that?



How long can it last?

Posted by madeux Wednesday September 16 2009 at 9:43PM
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So, I bought Champions Online.  And snagged the 6 month subscription special.  I did this for two reasons.  One:  Star Trek Beta access!  I'm ashamed to admit it, but that was one reason.  Two:  I think six months is about as long as I'll ever be able to play another game.

But I think that's a good thing.  I had a blast with Aion, and honestly I'd be playing it if my two brothers didn't prefer champions.  In 6 months, if there's nothing else out there, then I'll probably spend 1/2 a year in Aion.  After that, maybe Star Trek?  Then Star Wars?  Final Fantasy?  Secret World?

How great is it that there are so many options out there?  So many games that have the possibility of being playable?  They won't all succeed, they won't all meet my expectations, much like Fallen Earth, most recently.  But that's ok.  

Is it wrong that I'm just excited to finally have some choices?

Ask not, what your mmo can do for you...

Posted by madeux Sunday May 31 2009 at 8:28PM
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Everyone here knows what the MM in MMORPG stands for, but I think there are a lot of players who do not really understand it.  Without putting much thought into it, they underestimate the role that the community plays in the success or failure of a given game.

I began a thread soliciting some specific reasons that players hated a game that seemed to me to be receiving a lot of aggresively negative comments.  One common complaint was the inevitable gankfest that would be inflicted upon all newcomers.

Now, I'm all for some serious PvP action, it's a core component in an MMO that will not play without.  But after hearing from player after player who quit after the free trial for this reason, I couldn't help but wonder how many really great players would never end up fully giving the game of chance.  The MMO is struggling, it's subscription base never reaching it's potential.  Besides the developer, who else is going to lose out here?  That's right.

The "hardcore" players out there need take some time to think about their community as a whole.  Beware the elitism that will only thin out the subscription base.  Think about the positive impact you could have by actually welcoming new players, offering them helps and assistance.  Not calling them noobs.

There is a lot of complaining about MMO developers, and I've got a long list of my own complaints there, but in reality there's only so much we can do about that.  But what can you, as a player, do to actually make a difference in the virtual world you are chosing to make your home?