Random Rant About A Random Rant

Ohaio. Konichiwa. Konbanwah. There is a tiny sliver of madness in the epicenter sanity and I can’t account for the bleeding.

I woke up to helicopters yesterday, and I woke up to Care Bears today. Not the cool, chubby Care Bears of yesteryear, but the slim kid ones. The designers were probably told that they wanted to keep the parents from belly aching about large, overweight superhero quadrupedal omnivores. Fat bears, that is.

I also missed yesterday. Subsequently, I wrote nothing. And writing nothing makes me sad. :(

Insert relevant words here.

I even wrote on the day I went skateboarding (which I’m considering again). There really is a power and a might to Morning pages, no matter where you do them. I do them here, I think, because writing on paper is only effective about 50% of the time. Instead of giving me the courage to scribble on and on about a problem until it breaks before the might of my logical mind, it just sort of sits there and festers. Typing, epically with a time limit, makes me jot down everything as fast as possible. That is, when I’m not trying to focus. I try to focus, and the effect is lost. And when the effect is lost, I’m lost. And I start spouting things like… Yay, lost!

It’s hot. “It’s been hot, what the hell is the surprise?” This is the surprise: I forgot what it felt like to sweat. It takes some getting used to, and even then… Lets just put it this way. If there’s no fan, you might as well be melting.

Mom usually turns on the AC and cranks the puppy up to 11, but money’s thin and we have fans, right? Awesome. Broke, hot, AND miserable.

Not exactly broke. I have thirty-something bucks of ‘just in case’ cash, and about twice that in my account. Of course, that means nothing compared to the 200 I’m supposed to amass in two weeks. I’m generally sick of trying, but trying shows that you’re a good sport. I’m still refusing to talk about it. Yes, I realize that it makes it look like I’m doing nothing, but back when I told them i was doing something it was like I was doing nothing. To them anyway. It also did something to me mentally. Like my art was for them all of a sudden, when it wasn’t. It never will be. The point is, all they want is results. And if she keeps asking, it stresses me out. And if she keeps stressing me out… … … Yay, stress. @_@

Yeah, have you seen my tools. I think I have a screw loose.

Some gamers are just too damned picky. Cephus is not a rarity, but a constant, as gaming is becoming wide spread and Casual gamers are eking in from all sides and standards start to drop. MMOs are filled clones of the same weekend gamer that either stands around and begs for golds, tries to start a guild based on an Anime show, or thinks your avi is cute and wants to date. (Don’t ask. Different rant.) (And I’m pretty sure I know the point of the site being called Bitch Spot. Doesn’t make him/her right.)

Cephus goes on and says that MMOs are grindy and boring. I can relate to that. I have the expressed opinion that no one plays an MMO to have fun. Not by themselves. I’m waiting for the release of a game that’s been in development for about three years. Why? A: they include animal Avi’s standard as opposed to having to scrounge up money, real or imagined, in order to look the fuzzy part only to find out that there’s a color limitation or a time limit to how long you can have said item. And B: to develop a network of friends before said game drops in order to have more of a reason to log on. Finding friends in-game is annoying, and while chatting with them in a fourm seems no better, there’s at least a connection to them outside the game. SO I’m thinking Cephus is one of those lone gamers that hates the unpredictability of other people. Leeroy Jenkins, anyone? I can relate. But you either play or you don’t. Stop whining.

Then they go on and list all the elements that would or would not be there in his/her ideal MMO. Warning: I nearly puked by the end of the list. The faint of heart need not read…

“Absolutely no magic at all.” That’s nice. If you were trying to pull of an MMOFPS or RTS. I’ve seen them pulled off very well, actually. Commercially, mostly, but there are free ones as well. And there’s more of them than you think. After a while, you get tired of just shooting things and plastering their blood across the wall. RTSs (Real-Time Strategy games) have a similar pattern. ( Crapload of these, too…) Common scenario: “Yes! I’ve conquered all the maps, have billions in cash, and tons of troops to do my bidding… now what?” Magic. Adds. Complexity. Say it with me: Magic. Adds. Complexity. Even in an MMORPG, even if it’s marred down into “technology = magic”, there comes from any magic, by any other name, an extra set of strategies that, if you’re not using them yourself, will make you think of a different way to defeat a problem. Which is ‘The High’ of playing a game. Problem solving. At least if you faced something or someone different, you can say why magic is crap instead of dismissing it as what lazy gamers do. You’re being a baby, quit whining.

“As little grinding as we can get away with” …Life is work, and gaming can be work, if you don’t know how to sashay around the system. (This is where those friends, fair-weather, idiot, or otherwise, come in handy.) I will not argue that insane amounts of grinding and mission running can get tedious, but, supposedly, that’s what friending is for: being dragged into insanely high-leveled areas, gathering experience until you’re beaten within an inch of your digital life, and retreating to a town to recover and count the EXP points until you level up. That, and you might just spark-up a conversation. Socialize, even. Lesser miracles have happened. Suck it up and find friends.

“Ideally classless & skill-based”… Alright. This is actually one I agree with. If SquareEnix didn’t own the Job System, I’d actually kiss the writer of this. But I get the funny feeling that Square’s happy little accident is copyrighted and that this is why no one is willing to find out by putting out a game that directly copies this kind of flexiblity of skills. That said, I can think of two ways MMORPGS and a whole genre of MMO that are this open: Secondary Classes, Tutoring Systems, and ‘Real Life’/Socializing MMOs.

With Secondary Classes, you get 2 classes for the price of one, the secondary probably weakened in some way or another. Think two-classing in D&D, or trying to mops floors AND chop vegetables at the same time: Something’s going to suffer, but you get some versatility out of it. Tutoring Systems are simpler. Talk to a person, complete a task, get an ability. Problem is, most people chuck this in the ‘grinding pile’ and see it as another evil, repeditive act. Most of the time, it is.

Socializing MMOs… need to be banned. They’re limited in overall scope, but lack the locked-in feeling as there are usually no classes. Plenty of skills to amass, no real outlet for them. A little too free in that way.  They’re also limited in actual people-traffic and lack the action that I think our writer would sorely miss. I know I would. I’m a little torn about it myself… Your millage may vary.

Bottom line? Too much freedom, and the system might fall apart. Not enough and it’s rigid. That, and I’ve got no problem with what they said. Angelic 2. Cephus 1.

“Lots and lots and lots of actual, intelligent roleplaying.” … I’ve bitched about this myself. Not on here, but elsewhere. I don’t think all of the whining, bitching, moaning, and blogging in the world… no, the universe, could ever get this to happen. Why? Because people to play a game to play a game. They don’t play a game to play a game in a game (not unless there’s a Mini-Game). Big difference.

For proper roleplaying, it’s required that a person is required to think. It requires a person to think of a person that is not just ‘there’, but believable as well. A person that lives, breathes, thinks, fears, loves, and hates. I know this because I write, I RP on occasion, and I have more living, breathing characters stowed away in my head than any psychotherapist would ever want to see. For anyone to think that the average gamer, even me, would want to do both… at the same time… That’s naive, and you know it. I’m not saying it’s not possible. I’m saying that it isn’t going to happen anytime soon, if at all.

“Mostly PvE, optional PvP.” … And mostly right. I got the creeping feeling that what we had was a SciFi MMORPG gamer here (hence the unreasonable list of crap wants; the genre is very neglected. ‘Bastardized child’ neglected, leaving the fans of it either wanting more or oddly sated by such little effort), and my guess was confirmed right around here. (Still doesn’t excuse the other items on the list, but I’ll shuck that on to the end.) For now, PvP VS PvE. The thrill of the fight VS the thrill of the personal conquest. I prefer smatterings of both. I played Dream of Mirror Online for a good while because of all the good competition PvP-wise (game falls more than a little flat after this, tho). Point here is that if you don’t like it, you don’t play it. Like most things digital nowadays, if you can do better, you’re welcome to it.

“Lots of variation in what you can do.” (See my comment above about bastardized genres.) Makers of Scifi games are very prone to simplify what progresses a game and most fans are so easily satiated by it, leaving the rest to wallow in agony. This is why I try to play a wide variety of MMOs, or just leave them by the wayside and pick up a Wii-mote. Mostly because every genre has it’s failings if you’re looking hard enough, and it’s hard to look for flaws when you’re flailing your arms around like a monkey. This brought to mind another far-reaching comment for this whole article is “Tell them that, not us.” I mean, yeah, cool, blog it. Then send them a link to said blog. Take some action.

“No endgame.” IE, topping out levels. Betas of all genres are bad at this. They put a level cap that tops out too fast and causes players to start from scratch to keep it interesting. Non-beta games do this, too; for what reason, I’m clueless. Asda Story comes to mind. Phantasy Star Universe and it’s predecessor did this often. The games that did this are too numerous to count. Most games counter this out with the fact that it takes forever (the normal way) to grind all the way out to level 100. Then the gamers find a way to level faster. To counter this, the developers update the game itself, raising the levels and upping the mission difficulties. Which causes the gamers to find faster methods. Which causes developers to… Yes, it’s slippery-slope, but I’ve actually witnessed all this, within the frame of 2 1/2 years playing Phantasy Star. This is (unfortunately) why there are updates. Goes back to my thoughts on complexity, too; For the love of originality, pick a different type and class and experiment! Oh wait… they didn’t like Classes…

The “Ideal MMO” attracts, excites, and keeps all the nitwits who play it just sated enough so that Fridge Logic doesn’t creep in while they’re typing in their credit card numbers. Unlike me, Cephus, and the rest of the 10-15% of the world that knows how to think for themselves, they just want to play a cool game, have an awesome character, and maybe meet some chick/dude online that might actually turn out to be hot.

Also, Ceph, the next time you start an article, rant or not, try to be as specific as you can. SciFi MMORPGs, not just MMOs in general. Keep your subject straight. That was my puke-point. I’m a Writing Nazi. Sue me.

Thank you, and have a nice day


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