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2:30 AM on 02.06.2009  

WoW 60 Day Subscription Raffle

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

http://www.themmoexperience.com/2009/02/mmo-raffle-has-begun.html

I must say I'm enjoying this whole activity so far, so I may have to do more lil prize give aways like this in the future. Anyway, just thought I would open this up to the Dtoid community.

*Kicks a gnome*   read


1:26 PM on 01.18.2009  

What Class are You?

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?

Frustrated.

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.

Bah.

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?

*dramatic pause*

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.   read


10:58 PM on 01.03.2009  

I hugged a Gnome

Then I killed him.


*Has no earthly idea what's going on...but hopes that if he mimics in with the crowd..he will not be killed. Much like playing "zombie" in Shaun of the dead...*   read


6:36 PM on 01.01.2009  

Don't Threaten Suicide with Blizzard

Blizzard cares.

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*   read


5:40 PM on 12.30.2008  

NCSoft getting sued

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..

Wait..   read


11:43 AM on 12.27.2008  

Annoying MMO Players

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.   read


7:19 PM on 12.22.2008  

MMORPGs are Evil*No pics, oh no?*

Are MMORPGs evil? The answer may surprise you.

With the recent articles about torture in World of Warcraft(read here) I have decided to investigate what other vices MMORPGs indulge themselves in. If MMORPGs can stoop so low as to have you torture a fellow virtual human being, than I doubt there is no low that the developers will have us sink to. Probably for their own nefarious plot of "world-takeover" proportions. I haven't got any proof yet, so until then I can only show what proof I DO have.

MMORPGs ARE evil.

First I'll start off with one of the more tamer vices, Drinking. I don't mean drinking water or kool-aid, which is all well and good, but liquor! Beer, ale, whiskey, and other intoxicating drinks are everywhere! Especially Ironforge, the city of the Dwarves in World of Warcraft. Apparently this entire "race" of people are nothing but drunks. Why would Blizzard design a game for our children that has an ENTIRE race of potential AA members? They even joke about it with the little quip..

/silly "I don't have a drinking problem. I drink, I fall down, No problem!"

THEN these games actually SHOW your character drinking and the effects of intoxication. The screen gets blurry, and your character starts to weave back and forth. Even your characters speech becomes slurred to where you can't ever understand what someone is saying. This is completely and utterly unacceptable. Yet I wish this was the largest problem I had with my experiences in games like WoW, EQ, EQ2, WAR, and a whole large list of vile, evil, malicious games!

If a whole race of midget drunks didn't throw you off and ban your children from ever touching a "PC" again, this may ban your child from even saying the words "Exp". The entire game revolves around one fact. To get anywhere, to "level" up or whatever, is you have to KILL other people! These games encourage violence. It teaches them positive psychological reinforcement that if you kill someone you can take their clothes and their money. It doesn't have to be people either. My son, Billy, was smashing a squirrel in the face with his "staff of jordan" saying that he could sell the squirrel's teeth to a "merchant" for a couple of bucks. I'm scared to walk my little fluffy wuffy Mittens down the road, afraid someone will maul him for his paws or whatever body part is lucrative that week.

There are other subjects too, like racism. These games were MADE to PROMOTE racism! What are our children to think when they are playing a game that tells them " You must kill all the Night elves you see because their Alliance! "? You are encouraged to kill other people JUST because of race. How can video game companies get away with such obviously misguided and twisted views and encourage our children to think the same? I know that immediately after writing this warning letter I'm going to write to my congressmen about all this. You shouldn't kill gnomes just because they are short! or Night elves because their eyes glow differently than a Blood elf's.

So please, keep your children away from these games! The more they play it, the more likely they will start thinking since your a human, your filthy alliance, and you have to die. Then they will take your clothing and money, and sell your ears to some "merchant"! These games, and ALL games, are evil. If there were no video games we wouldn't have violence! Before television we were a perfect society!   read


8:47 PM on 12.16.2008  

Another Brick to the Xbox Wall

As you may have guessed, my Xbox 360 just became a useless brick. I was just idly watching a movie when I was visited upon by the Reaper of Red. The system died without even a whimper. Apparently I got a very popular error (E 74). While this can sometimes be JUST the av cables, in my case it's not.

So my lil 360 *with Mass Effect Faceplate =(* is going to become some type of showpiece or..something.

Anyway, Both myself and my wife decided to just say fuck it and get a Playstation 3. There is no way I'm going to get a system that can live for a single year*My NES is alive to this very day...just gotta blow in it sometimes..*

So, soon as I go pick it up I'll post my PS name or whatever system the damn thing uses.

Go blu-ray and free online play...   read


6:49 PM on 12.15.2008  

Myst Online - Open sourced MMO = ?

I got to hand it to Cyan Worlds. They have truly done something that may very well cause a revolution in how we play MMORPGs. Cyan Worlds, the creators of the famous Myst series, released some time ago Myst: Online. This was to be an MMO version of their popular series. However recently the company has hit it pretty hard financially. The game was first dropped by Ubisoft and then by GameTap.

Once Cyan Worlds got their IP back, the hardcore fans of URU(Myst Online) decided to stick around as Cyan Worlds held only one solitary server up for its fans. They called this project MORE(Myst Online Restoration Experiment). For the longest time, due to even more financial setbacks everything was quiet.

Until this bit of news. Myst Online Goes OPEN SOURCE! Click here for their official announcement.

So what does this mean for YOU as a gamer? Expect a lot of mods and addons by players to an MMORPG. For some this is simply a dream come true. All the freedom of player/fan modification to an MMO is truly mind bloggling when it comes to possibilities. However this could also be the destruction of URU. Depending on how the modders swing it, it could either be a breath taking achievement...or a complete disaster.

I'm really looking forward to see how this project develops. Depending on its success we could see more MMORPGs releasing their sources, truly changing how we play the genre. Don't believe me? Go check out the large variety of "maps" in StarCraft and WarCraft III. While the game is an RTS*real time strategy*, many of the custom player-made maps range from RPGs, Defense Maps, and other unique maps that really don't fit a genre like Aeon of Strife.

I'm really looking forward to this.

Shameless self advertising = Go to my site or get stabbed.   read


1:22 PM on 12.13.2008  

Weird WoW Fetish?

A very enlightening post by Tenfoldhate has given me the shock of the day. While this HAS to be some type of prank, part of my soul tells me it's not. I wouldn't be surprised to find that is a completely legitimate proposal. Has World of Warcraft invaded our mainstream life so much that there are now fetishes about it?!

My god..

At least there are not television shows and movies with brief cameos of the game just to give nerd smiles..

*Goes to watch The Day the Earth Stood Still...*

Paladin, Stranglethorn Vale. Watch the movie and you'll understand what I mean.

*sigh*

WoW has taken over our lives.

You can read the full "request". I would advise that it contains strong language and isn't for kiddies. You have been warned.http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/lax/878989144.html   read


2:47 PM on 12.10.2008  

Star Wars The Old Republic Slapped...Kinda.

A few days ago ShackNews reported that the highly anticipated MMORPG(to me), Star Wars: The Old Republic would be a Micro-Transaction game. This apparently sent an uproar among the MMORPG community(a great example is the comments here at http://brokentoys.org/ ). While EA came around and said it was all a big misunderstanding, the whole ordeal made me wonder. What is it about MT and F2P(Free to play) MMORPGs that upsets the community so? A lot of these arguments stem from the general stereotype that F2P and MT games are not of "Triple A" value.

Now was there an actual misunderstanding or did EA change it's mind after discovering the outrage by the community? The sheer rage by a lot of posts are truly confusing to my fragile little mind. Some stated that most F2P games have nothing but 12 year olds playing. I would like to point out Barrens chat to you in a tiny subscription MMORPG called World of Warcraft. Or trade channel, or ANY channel for that matter. While these "kids" may not be 12, but more like 18 and older...

So with EA silent about what type of payment model they will be using, I can only stare at my fellow MMORPG gamers in confusion. Did we just shoot ourselves in the foot here? We had a game being developed by Bioware, who's record of making brilliant games rivals some of the best, and when it was "misunderstood" as being a MT based game everyone freaks out? These kind of biased responses that can shift a game from being a paragon of awesome to crap kinda scares me. Considering the bully power that has been used on Blizzard before to make in-game changes, what else will change from start of production to release due to angry, confused, and misguided players?

Again, stolen, cleaned, and pawned from my blog. Brought over here for the opinions and shameless dirty self promoting.   read


8:49 PM on 12.06.2008  

Shin Megami Tensei: A glimpse



Anytime you hear a MMORPG is free to play, you are almost guaranteed for it to be from average to utter crap. However I must say Aeria Games has made a pretty decent game here. For one I've yet to play a MMORPG with combat this active and just plain old fun. With it behaving more like an action game then a RPG, you constantly have to pay attention to what enemy your facing and what attacks you've been using. If the enemy is about to rush you, instead of hoping your 20% dodge kicks in you can activate a defensive mode. This lets you block the attack and then counter if your quick enough. This is me preparing the counter in the Virtual Training Room. The pink tells me it's working!



I guess pictures of me fighting a strange turkey with an onion on its head is a good point to actually talk about Shin Megami Tensei, or MegaTen for short. The MegaTen series is about what happened when some goofy scientists started playing with teleportation. As any game fan knows this is a TERRIBLE idea! Surprisingly, demons suddenly turned up. Of course there is a number of people that can fight the demons, they’re called Demon Busters. What would have been an epic struggle between demons and humans goes to the sidelines as nuclear war breaks out. Most of the planet is eradicated with the few human survivors fighting against themselves AND the demons.

All is not lost however. A huge flood comes to kill the majority of the demons in Tokyo. Humanity finally decides to stop fighting each other and band together. Things are looking hopeful. Then that’s when the plot line of this game occurs. Yes, a plot line. Be shocked and stunned.

Help also comes along in the ability to make contracts with demons. You make a contract with a demon and they help you. Think Warlock pets from World of Warcraft except you can pick almost any demon you come across, as long as you’re at a high enough level. Once you find the perfect demon for you, all you do is start up a conversation with them. Some respond well to simple greetings others to threats or taunts. The whole concept to me is very entertaining. Here is a picture of someone I came across with an “Angel” demon..



While the graphics are actually pretty decent, music exactly what you expect from a JRPG, not all is perfect in this little world just riddled with demon goodness. For one your character moves ungodly slow. With each area being pretty large it takes quite a while to get to places. If there is some type of movement increase later in the game that would just be swell. Also if your playing full screen and you alt+tab out expect the game to crash on you when you attempt to get back to playing.

The UI itself is cluttered, even though the tutorial explains where everything is at I wish there was faster access without having to make new key binds. I would love to see a better mini-map system as well. The current one is just an empty radar with a few dots on it. While it's functional I just would like a more detailed one like the one World of Warcraft uses.

So far Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine is looking to be solid MMO. As a fan of the series this game spawns from I'm pleased as a fan of both the story and the game play. I can only hope it escapes from the drudgery that most MMORPGs serve as you progress through the game. I'll keep you posted. I'll also give you toast...buttery...delicious...toast...

This is an article I wrote up for the all powerful http://www.negativegamer.com and brought over here. I'll be posting the majority of my SMT:I updates there....HA!   read







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