Pre-Combat Upgrade

This started as a reply to Damianov at Voyages in Eternity and was quickly turning into not only a lengthy reply, but a topic changer at the end so I decided to just blog my thoughts instead to the 1 1/2 people who actually read this blog ;).

I think people when talking about death penalties in general aren’t thinking on an abstract enough level to see the whole picture.

Just to get you thinking a little bit more, take this scenerio:  I’m playing a game and two people of the opposite faction, both higher levels (we’ll presume a level-based game for ease of discussion) than yourself and they quickly dispatch of you with little notice.  These two gankers decide it would be a ton of fun to camp your dead body.  After several deaths, you just HAPPEN to get the upperhand and defeat the only one of the two attackers who can slow your escape.  You down him, but since there isn’t a ‘death penalty’ of running for 2 minutes to get back to their ‘body’, he is back up within a few seconds, slowing your escape, leading to another death.

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{June 25, 2007}   lfg.. lfg!.. LFG!!!

How is it that I can be in a guild of over 500 people in a game of over 8 million subscribers yet sit in the LFG tool for an hour trying to find a damn group for an instance?  I do a quick ‘who’ to find several hundred people online, so what is the problem?  It’s peak time and I’m STILL looking for someone?  We finally line something up and ‘oh, I have to go now’ tends to happen.  Is this the ‘which came first the egg or the chicken’ argument?  Do people not want to join your group because they don’t want to wait for an hour to find a group which in and of itself CAUSES the actual problem?

Same with raiding.  Our guild has a weekly meeting on Sunday which the guild leader gives out free greens and blues (which takes much too long IMHO) and then we raid some Ally city.  So why is it that we barely clear a dozen people, half of which leave as soon as they die the FIRST TIME!!!  What are you doing in this game?  Why are you joining a guild?  Have guilds really been demoted to a place you join so you can get instance runs by high levels instead of social breeding grounds? 

Is it poor game design?  Is it too many loners?  Poorly ran guilds?  Do people really not want the connection of playing with other people?  Whatever it is, it’s annoying as all hell.  If you don’t want to participate in groups and guild raids, then why are you here?

I was playing some WoW last night when I should have been working on Fowl Prowl (our 2nd in-house game and Dream Build Play entry which is due in 2 weeks) and I heard a rant on vent from a now-former guildie.  He met with someone to build him a riding crop, of which he was going to give 5g tip plus mats.  After the trade was comleted and he went into his inventory to equip the crop, he couldn’t find it.  “Where the F*** is my riding crop?”  After several minutes of ‘damnit, I can’t find it’ and ‘i just totally got ripped off’ I heard the phrase that is the military equivelent in my mind as getting a cruise missle up the arse.  “I’m paging a GM”

 Remember when Storytellers and Game Masters actually.. well.. TOLD STORIES?!  We have teams and teams of people who’s sole purpose is to deal with stupid little ‘I got ripped off’ scenerios that it sickens me.  If you don’t want to get ripped off, PAY ATTENTION.  You have a trade window up.  The ENTIRE side of the person trading you something highlights when they’ve accepted the trade.  Big red letters pop up saying ‘trade succesful’ or ‘trade cancelled’ depending on which happened.  Use common sense people.

What makes you think that other players do and should have to play fair?  If you don’t want your mats ripped off, don’t use someone you don’t know to craft something for you.  Show a little thing called ‘patience’ and either buy it from AH or have a guildie make it.  I don’t get the concept of thinking Blizzard is our mother and we should cry to her every time someone doesn’t do what we want them to do in-game.

Do I approve of ripping people off?  No, unless it’s part of the game.  Thief profession anyone?  Anyway, back to the original rant.  I just am fed up of hearing people cry on vent that they are quitting if a GM doesn’t give them x and x back because they were morons and handed it over to a complete stranger in a virtual world to build them something.  If you think only morally correct people play World of Warcraft, then I have some ocean front property in north dakota to sell you.

I’m going to have to build some better trade/crafting tools for Forbidden Dawn to accomidate trading of this nature.  I want to do this to eliminate two problems, the bigger of which I feel is the actual use of GMs to get back something you GAVE to someone else hoping for something in return.

 I wonder how many babysitters there are and how much more live events would happen if those babysitters actually did their job of being ST’s and GMs?

{June 14, 2007}   WTF is an image designer?

It’s pretty dark in Coronet right now.  I haven’t buffed in a few days and I’m now below 20 million credits, so I’m no longer in the top 5 whales of the galaxy anymore.  Time to get to work.  The paint wore off on my AV-21, so I decide to walk it.  That dancer in the cantina.. persiphine.. well, let’s just say I watch her and all the fatigue I felt from combat goes away.  I feel refreshed and new.  An addiction maybe?  No.  It’s more than an addiction.  It’s freedom.  It’s life.  The way she moves.  The way she… huh?  I stare up at a sign over a small tent.  I don’t remember really walking past this before.  I read the sign above the tent “Image Designer”.  WTF is an image designer?  I step inside to a small crowd gathered around two faintly dressed ladies.  My curiosity gets the better of me and I shove my way to the front to see what all the commotion is about.  What I see both shocks and amazes me.

OK.  Enough with the bad first person tale.  Why don’t we ever see things like the Pre-CU SWG Image Designers?  Why NOT let people change people in game.  Even if it were just stats, it is friggin FUN!  It’s fun to do, it’s fun to have done, it adds another level of social aspect to the game.

I’d never play an ID myself, because that’s as interesting as washing dishes and don’t they have women for those things *hides* 😛

{June 13, 2007}   exit stage right

Well, after just 4 short days of playing SWG’s trial I log in to find that SWG somehow forgot that I already completed the tutorial and chose to force me into watching its opening cut scene and then retaking all of the tutorial.  I fly through that aspect of it and get to han solo and demand he take my ass off this ship ASAP only to find out that a nice little popup.. well.. pops up.. and tells me to subscribe to “continue my adventure” or “return to the trial”.  If I choose “continue my adventure” nothing happens at all.  I assume this is supposed to pop a web browser with the subscriptions page on it, but it’s broken.  If I click ‘continue trial’ I am forced to stay on the tutorial ship.

Thanks SOE!  You’ve confirmed how much of a crap bag game you can STILL make and even though I was starting to actually enjoy part of what I was doing, I’m now back to being pissed of in general and have proceeded to disable my damn account and return to WoW.  It’s a sad state of affairs when I play a game because “nothing as good as pre-cu swg” exists yet.  In the famous words of Charlie Brown.. “Good Grief…”

{June 11, 2007}   in a galaxy far, far away

Although part of me wishes this ‘far, far away’ was actually some morphed version of shrek (not the third, don’t get me started) in an MMO, I’m actually going to admit that I’ve downloaded the latest 14 day trial from Sony for the infamous Star Wars Galaxies.  What better way to start off pre-CU than to discuss what I’m experiencing in my first few days of rejoining the empire in it’s fight against the rebel scum of the universe.

 I don’t know if it was an article I read somewhere (sorry, can’t seem to find it in the 5 seconds I attempted to find it) about some new things that SOE was putting into SWG which weren’t actually new to begin with.  What they were new to, was the post-CU game.  Things such as Creature Handlers (I think they call them Beast Masters now, I’ll have to look tonight) and.. well.. that’s roughly the biggest thing.  Maybe it was that every time I talk game design, I end up on the subject of how fantastalistic (copyright Jonathon Stevens 2007, all rights reserved) game design SWG had pre-CU. 

Whatever it was, I took a long few days of soul searching and mind opening that led to the click of a button and the start of two weeks in a galaxy not very far, far away from what I’ve previously played.  At least, that’s what I thought.  I started the game in what I thought was going to be a bit of a tutorial.  It ended up being more of a mini-story which, to my surprise, I actually enjoyed.  I remember how damn hard it was as a nub to ALL MMOs (was a previous MUD player, but hated D&D so never tried UO or EQ.  Plus, who in their right mind would PAY every month to play a damn game?) to get going in SWG with the MANY options, commands, etc. available to me.

After playing with Han Solo a bit and wondering why they didn’t voice everyone in the initial “noob city,” I decided it was time to head to a planet and start my journey.  Han Solo took me to Tatooine and I was immediately greeted with a few quest givers waiting to give me my first “Kill 10 Rats” quest.  Quest 1 finished, then 2, then 3.  What the hell?  Where’s the damn KTR quest?  Nothing mundane?!  Sure, I wasn’t saving the galaxy, but I was actually entertained while playing a level 1 – 5 character in an MMO?

OK.  I must be just fanboying this shit right now, let’s take a break. 

<rest of post got fargled on it’s way to the page, not terribly impressed with wordpress thus far…>

Yes, I did it.  It’s not my fault though.  You can blame Cuppy, Cameron, and Damion if you’re eyes start bleeding after reading what I write.  Of course, the beauty of the internet is you can choose to ignore what I’m saying without me actually finding out.  By the way, shouldn’t you be working right now?


et cetera