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Our game characters and the people who play them

Exploring the player characters in and out of the game world.

Author: whilan

The power of companies.

Posted by whilan Friday April 15 2011 at 8:19PM
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I watched a movie a few nights ago called Madea's Family Reunion. In one part the mother states (and this is about a boyfriend)

You got to forgive him, if you don't forgive him then he has power over you, he can control you.  If you forgive him then he loses that power.  If you want to be truely happy and free first forgive him, then forgive yourself.

Or something to that extent  Anyway what does this have to do with what i'm talking about?  It's people or in this case companies having power over people.

How do companies have power over people? Simple, if they produce great titles you will buy it,  This one has a lesser extent then the next one, but still, look at any company it has fans, some more so then others, they can control them to an extent but if they release a poor title for whatever reason they start to lose this control.  So it's fleeting at best.

But what about the other side of the coin, or the darker side of it? If a company scorns you in any way (i'll throw out a few here, uh cryptic with Champions, sony with SWG, Funcom with AoC)  at least some people will never forgive them, regardless of the game.

I saw a thread in the swtor forum in which a poster named EA no less then 3 times as their reason for not wanting to play a game.  Regardless if the game might have been fun this is a stumbling block.  They may just be using filler reasons but if a person just turns a game down by a company having their name on the box without looking at the game at all (this is not the same person) they have power over that person

At this point it came to me that these companies they hate so much, the companies that they say they will NEVER do business with because of something they did in the past.  While the scorn may be warrented, they are still unable to let go of it, many years later...many many years later to some.  For a company to have that much power over a person after so much time is real power, it's a true force to be reckon with to be able to affect someone so much that without ever seeing them or talking to them or even interacting with them beyond software to be able to force them to not buy a product by a mere logo and what it represents seems to be one of the most powerful abilities ever.

Granted it won't get them additonal sales and they'd prefer the former of liking a product however they still have power...until the people just let it go and decide to judge games on their own merit instead of wether a title like NCsoft or cryptic or whathave you (yes even EA) is on the box cover or not.

At least this is the case when it comes to software.

Sub comparision telling success or failure.

Posted by whilan Saturday March 5 2011 at 10:18PM
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Welcome to my second blog post.

This time i take a look at game comparisions.  Most specifically when one game is compared to another to guage the possible success or failure of upcoming or recently released game.

What do I mean by this?

Lets say X game has just come out and it's doing rather well.

Fan of X game states numbers in attempt to hype up or get others to play the game as well.

Eventually the comparision is made.

Yeah well, Game Y had just as many subs and you can see where they are nowadays (yes this line was taken from somewhere but i won't say where)

The problem with this comparision is it's just based on numbers.  Many of the reasons Y game failed may not be present in X game. Many games could have those numbers but that doesn't mean that just because X game has Z number of people that Y game had that somehow X game will fail just like Y game did.

I think this is an attempt to somehow downplay or use the reasoning that just cause you have these many numbers that doesn't mean your game doing well because games with that many have failed before.

The problem is, there are too many factors that can cause a game to fail that may not be at all related to the amount of people it has.

I'm left with the only possible reason that somehow this is suppose to indicate whether a game is good or not and makes me wonder why someone would do this in the first place.  So a game has X amount of subs why does that have to be downplayed or mean X game is immediately going to have the exact same destiny as Y game did?  How does one come by this conclusion and most of all.  Why should I care how many subs another game has compared to my game when both are different games?

Why should I care?

Posted by whilan Friday February 18 2011 at 2:42PM
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Okay, I start off my first blog post on the concept of caring about your character and connecting to it and the world it is in and why.

In most of the MMOs i've played, (which most are RPGs) i create a backstory for my character if one does not already exists.  However as i play the game, i try and make choices i think would fit best to my characters profile.  Thus living our their story and lives.  This allows me to connect with the character and understand them better.

I can easily do this in any SPRG to date, as theres a reason for that character to be doing what they are doing and you can understand what the purpose is.  It's always in sight and your always heading towards it.

The story and the character(s) development were the main core reasons i started playing RPGs in the first place.  So when i heard that my favorite genre was going to be played online with many thousands of others, i was pleased as punch so to speak.  I loved it.  However my enjoyment of it slowlly fell over the years.   I was never able to quite put my finger on it, until just recently when Jon Wood was talking about the new zombie trailer.

Here is the link:

He states about connecting to the characters and understanding the situations they're in and how it affects them.  This seriously got me thinking about why most of the MMOs in the past were simply not that interesting to me.

My character for all intent and purposes in those games are nothing more then, task completers/armories/vendors.

They don't have any emotion. No purpose beyond another solider in the war.

They could easily be replaced with any other person on the entire game world and it would make absolutely no difference what so ever.  With less emphasis on why we are there and more of you are just another person, games in my opinion lose more and more of the RPG part i crave and just become games of grind.

I always played RPGs for the story, the only time i grinded anything was if i needed a bit more money for the upgrades in that town or a couple of levels to beat that next monster.  It was a side venture at most.  Whereas in the MMO market the tables seemed to have switched and the story is the side venture with a large focus on the grinding part.  The part i had hope to never take front stage.

Now i'm pretty pleased that story is coming to MMOs, but i'm also worried that it may not be as well recieved as it is in the single player world.  Not so much that it can't be done as more so that people have become accustomed to grinding and getting gear and less focused on the story aspect.

I have heard several times that people would rather just skip the story all together and get to the end game.  The raiding and such.  While i can understand a certain playstyle, i was always under the impression that the point of an RPG was to tell a story.  The levels and armor were a means to an end, to show your character getting more powerful over time. 

My only hope is the next few games to come out that are focused on the story and your role in those stories that go much further beyond then just doing a task because thats the fastest way to max level or to get the gear you want.

Games like EQ were light on story and you generally had enough to get you along but over the years it stopped becoming enough for me.  I feel that RPGs are more about the story and how you fit into the world and not so much about the gameplay itself.

Anyhow, i'll wrap it up there for my first blog ever.  Hopefully that helps people to understand what kind of person i am and why i look forward to some games more then others.