Merging the worlds of parenthood and geekness. I'm a happy father and avid gamer that basically quivers in joy from any type of nerd thing. Quivers sounded...very wrong...also writer of The MMO Experience Blog, http://www.themmoexperience.com and also for Negative Gamer http://negativegamer.com
Games I play - MMORPGS, RPGS, FPS, Action/Adventure, Old School Fighting games.
Favorite games - EverQuest, Super Mario RPG, Mass Effect, Chrono Trigger, and Final Fantasy VI
Playing now - EverQuest, Left4Dead Demo, Lost Odyssey
The title should bloody say it all. I"m having a little raffle just to be a nice guy, and the prize is 2 month World of Warcraft subscription card. I've been wanting to do this for some time, but only now had the shinies to actually be able to spend some money toward this.
All entries must be submitted by this Saturday at 11:59 PM EST. For how to submit an entry and all that bs go to
There has been a large number of articles lately that are a bit TOO serious for my taste. I have no one to blame for this situation but myself as I wanted to give my personal opinion on a lot of hot subjects.(Such as RMT, how the financial situation will affect MMOs, the sudden migration of moose, and other fine subjects.) However today I wanted a more light, casual, and hopefully interesting topic. I have an urge to talk about classes. While for some reason I think it's hilarious to use the word urge in this context(I'm weird.), I really want to get into the subject of classes or archetypes if your game of choice doesn't use a class system.
For the most part, many MMOs follow a pretty standard set of classes. You have the Tank, the DPS melee, the DPS ranged, and the Healer. Of course sprinkled within these lonely archetypes there are abilities and/or spells that are other categories onto themselves such as support, crowd control, buffs, debuffs, and other unique features. Some games have entire classes focused on the "Support" niche in a group such as EverQuest, while others simply pass a few of these to the standard 4 archetypes such as World of Warcraft. So what does all this information make me?
I'm at constant odds with the class system mechanic used in MMOs. On one hand it's a salute to the games of yore such as Dungeons & Dragons. On the other hand it is a very structured and limiting system that has me switching classes constantly because I get so bored remaining in one fixed niche in the game. When you pick a class in most MMOs you spend your entire time from level one onward to what ever level cap exists doing practically the same thing, using the same abilities. While there are different uses for abilities depending on if you're soloing, grouping, or raiding generally speaking you're pressing the same buttons, using the same ol sequence of moves that you've "TheoryCrafted".
"But Danshir! Just make another character! Make an alt!" You say to me.
You're telling me to cure tedium I should go back and start at level 1 and repeat the entire process with an entirely different niche? Why? That's a snake eating it's own tail. The feeling of deju vu will come over me in a tidal wave and I'll realize I'm back at square one. Still confined in a overly structured class system that refuses to let me play EXACTLY what I want to play. As much as I love Dungeons & Dragons I really think the class system that we have used for so long has got to go. (While I love D&D, I have yet to learn the new 4.0 rules...Down with the new! Bring back ye ol 2.0 rules! Huzzah!)
So....what is an MMO player to do?
There are a vaccines for this disease, a treatment that have been used occasionally. The "point" system. To put it very basically, the point system lets you put skill points or what have you into different abilities. This can range from weapons to healing to fire spells or whatever. You make a custom class that is perfectly tailored to your playstyle. Want a Fire slinging priest? You got it. The freedom to powerfully control the "destiny" of how your "class" proceeds makes me giddy like a school girl. Sadly the only MMO I've played that used this system was Asheron's Call.
A great example of how versatile the system is and lackluster a class system is in comparison comes to mind when I think about Dark Messiah of Might and Magic. I personally enjoyed this game for my PC, however I detested the Xbox360 version. Even though it ran a lot smoother on my console, there was one fatal flaw between the two. The PC version let you get skill points and distribute them between three skill trees. The first was more of a Fighter type, the second a Mage, and last a Rogue or stealth character. In the console one you were stuck with picking one of these three and that was it.
That was your character.
You couldn't make a strange hybrid between the two that fit your style of play.(Mine was Stealth/Fighter, I felt very much like Artemis Entreri from R.A. Salvatore's novels.) You were instead a very boring cliche class that you've more than likely played so many times before. Yet almost every single MMO follows suit. A review of Silent Hill: Homecoming by Zero Punctuation mentions how Americans HAVE to have a love story somewhere in their media. I know that the book "Ender's Game" has been in the works so long to become a film because every director wants to force a love interest in the story and the author of the book refuses for the main character to have one.(If you haven't read the book, it would make NO sense for him to have one...trust me.) Why add useless cliches such as a love story when you don't need it or it doesn't need to be there in the first place?
So why continue cliches for the sake of "That's how it's done?" Why should we use a class system just because "That's how it's done?" It makes no sense. So WHY do it?
Maybe I'm bitter. Maybe I'm spoiled. Maybe I'm just tired of playing the same exact game with abilities that are under different names and different graphics. Offer me something unique or just offer me the chance to MAKE something unique for myself. Please?
So what class am I? I'm Danshir the Holy demon summoner that throws rabid pigs filled with explosives and knives. What class are you?
Yet another post found in an alleyway on my website, mugged, and brought over here. I'm so swell.
That is probably the only positive thing I can comment about a recent story from the MiddleTownJournal. A 17-year-old threatened to kill himself due to being frustrated with, as the article from MiddleTownJournal says, an online game(AKA World of Warcraft, you'll see why further down). The boy was arrested December 29th for inducing panic after officers and medics went to his home.
The charge is a first-degree misdemeanor. Apparently the boy was having an online conversation with a Blizzard Entertainment representative.(Thus, World of Warcraft) When the boy typed in that "he was suicidal and that the game is the only thing he has to live for ". The Blizzard rep then called 911.
Once the police arrived, the boy admitted that he used the comment hoping to get his way with the representative. He was then handcuffed and hopefully thrown into a police car where he will never see the light of day.
I would like to say one thing, because the rest of the things in my head are too enraged and filled with fury to be worth saying. Kudos to you, nameless Blizzard employee for doing the right AND smart thing. You did the right thing. However I really hope this "boy" doesn't get off easy for this. ;) Maybe he'll get nerfed?
Taken from my website and all that jazz. Also posted up for N4G*though not approved as of yet*
While you may expect good cheer, fun, laughs, and presents on Christmas Eve not everyone is so blessed. NCSoft got something worse than coal, they got sued. According to VirtualWorldNews the developer Worlds.com, an early virtual world developer in the 90s, is filing suit against NCSoft. Why? Apparently Worlds.com had two patents regarding scaling virtual spaces and enabling users to interact and chat in 3D environments.
Considering how broad of a statement that is, I wouldn't be surprised if these patents were filed for the sole purpose of filing suit against someone further down the road. Worlds.com is stating that City of Heroes, City of Villains, Dungeon Runners, Exteel, Guild Wars, Lineage, Lineage II, and Tablula Rasa all infringed upon the patent. You can read the full details over at VirtualWorldNews.com.
So what's next? Blizzard? Mythic? SOE? I really hope Worlds.com gets a nice swift kick for what seems to me a very dirty gesture. I'll keep you posted as events play out. I wrote to Worlds.com today about a possible interview with them to defend their position. My money is on them giving me the negative response.
Anyway, this post came from both my homebase and I touch on it on a post I made for NegativeGamer. While I think Worlds.com will get their asses handed to them, they don't seem to think so. They are already talking about the "Next" generation of Worlds.com. I wonder how a company that has done NOTHING since the 90s suddenly gets the money to fund something like that..
More than likely, if you've played any MMO for any length of time you've noticed a "trend". Certain types of people that just irk you. Sometimes it's beyond irking, sometimes they utterly ruin a good group, a good instance, a good raid, or just make you wish you REALLY could kidney shot them. While I cannot say I've came all of these people in every game I've played, I will say that I've seen them all in at least EverQuest and World of Warcraft(The two MMORPGs I've played the most in past years). So I present to you...
The Most Annoying MMO Players
1. "G2G My mom needs to check her email..." child
This one will generally wait until you're deep within an instance before speaking(If you're lucky). After an hour or two of fighting just to reach the final boss...he has to go. Mommy is kicking him off his computer. While I have no problem with children playing MMORPGs(except the Lawl, phat lewtz noob I pwn your azz morons), these types of situations are some of the most annoying.
2. The Beggar
Picture this. You're just minding your own business in Ironforge when suddenly a trade window pops open. While confusion sets in for this random trade exchange, you're suddenly bombarded with tells from the assailant to give him money. S/he always has a variety of reasons of why you should(Abilities, Mount, No reason, etc) however they get UPSET at you for asking why they need it. After denying them your hard earned cash, they generally leave you with a few "choice" words.
3. Guild "Looter"
Every guild has seen a swarm of these, especially those trying to make a name for themselves. These are the people that join your guild, get the best gear you can offer them, then leave to join a guild higher up than your own. Constant "attacks" by these people are generally what make small/medium sized guilds practically stop trying. Or give up hope for humanity.
4. The Girl
I've seen one of these in every guild I've played in. You'll recognize "The Girl" right off the bat. She's the one that constantly throws out sexual innuendos, talks about her MySpace pics, and gives out links to "her" guildies of her posing naked or various other "activities". Please note this is not a statement against all gamers that are "Ladies". Grow up, kid.
5. The Alt Looter
As a Rogue and a Hunter, I'm pretty much constantly competing with other rogues, hunters, shamans, feral druids, fury warriors, etc for gear. I'm fine with that, it's fair. This brings me to the "Alt Looter". This is the person that, for example, will roll on DPS loot while they are Healing spec'ed. Getting alt gear sets when the item will potentially rot is fine, but taking loot from classes that need it now is just greedy.
6. The Know it All
Never question this person's authority on any topic regarding the game you are currently playing. The "Know it All" is the person that hoards all knowledge and will quickly jump down upon anyone that says something that isn't correct. Do they do it politely? Of course not. It generally involves calling the one at "fault" retarded, a newb, and other colorful words. I could go on..but I'm filled with rage.
7. Can't play their class
This is the final one. You've more than likely met this one. The Rogue that can't sap properly, the Warrior who can't hold aggro, the Priest who keeps letting everyone die, the Hunter that wipes the raid, and so on. More than likely this person can play his class GREAT...by himself. With a large chunk of people soloing all the way to the max level, most people don't know anything about their class in a group dynamic. Aggro management is a brand new concept to them, managing multiple health bars, and crowd control. I kinda blame this generation of MMORPGs for this one. With games encouraging people to solo, it's rather difficult to jump into the end game(Which is almost always group content in some fashion) with no knowledge what so ever on how to play your class with multiple people.
Well there you have it. My 7 "Most Annoying MMO Players". These are generally the people that I should have sent my repair bills to or made them pay to get a Cleric to resurrect me to gain exp back. Have you had any experience with people like this or is there a type of person I left off? Leave some comments. Also blah blah support me blah blah website blah blah click blah blah free cookies.