To gank, or not to gank, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous rogues,
Or to take arms spec against a sea of Horde,
And by opposing end them? To die, to rez,
No more; and by rez to say we end
The losing streak, and the thousand natural shock blasts
That virtual flesh is heir to: ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to rez;
To rez, perchance to get revenge – ay, there’s the rub!
Welcome back to /AFK, the weekly roundup of interesting blog posts that caught my eye:
- Levelcapped — We are prisoners
“They have absolutely no stake in the potential success of others, but they do have a potential victory in the failure of others.”
- Kill Ten Rats — Why we ding, part 1
“But I do wonder if we have sped up too fast, to give too much fast or instant gratification, and removed that feeling that only a DING! can give.”
If you have a choice between boring A and exciting B, will you not pick B and consider yourself a rogue, even though everyone else would most likely pick B as well?
And if C decided to stop by and challenge your expectations, it might stand to reason that a switch would be in order. But only if D didn’t pop in, announce “All of the above!” and ruin everyone’s day. Oh, D, the only letter we hate more than you is the dreaded E — “None of the above!”
Welcome back to /AFK, a weekly roundup of interesting blog posts that caught my attention:
- Elder Game — Evolving quests
“WoW changed the thinking here. For the most part, it never even occurred to us in the MMO industry that it might be possible to create so much content that players could level entirely through quests and never repeat a single one.”
- We Fly Spitfires — I like big swords
“When I play MMOs I immediately pick melee classes and then go out of my way to find the biggest, meanest looking sword I can possibly find in order to proceed smacking the living daylights out of everything whilst giggling with glee.”
One of the worst things about coming back from a trip is all of the catching up you have to do — especially if you happen to have hundreds of blogs in your Google Reader. I tried my best, but after a day or so of scrolling I gave up and marked all as read. Ergo, this week’s /AFK is incomplete in a sense, as it’s both covering two weeks’ worth of posts and missing a bunch of those posts at the same time. Ah well!
Welcome back to /AFK, a weekly roundup of interesting posts that caught my eye:
- MMO Reporter — The naming of chars
“It drives me crazy to see someone play a rogue named ‘Death-Rouge’ or a variant of this, usually with loads of accented characters. To use your class as a name is wrong of itself, but to then misspell it?”
- Epic Slant — PAX East 2011 in review
“This year I attended my first PAX and I have to say that in comparison to the other conventions I regularly hit it felt far larger and friendlier!”
- Levelcapped — Don’t cry for me World of Warcraft
“But really, WoW community. You’ve had the cat-bird’s seat for many, many years. You can’t blame people for getting excited about an alternative – we might even whisper “competitor” if we want to fan flames, although I think it’s far to early for that discussion to be had in serious circles.”
- Casual Is As Casual Does — One of us and level ennui
“After months of gentle cajoling (which didn’t work), and more recently, letting him watch over my shoulder as I trudge through vanquishes, Zaishen bounties, and re-build my character stock in general, Mr. Randomessa has caved in and decided to give Guild wars another try.”
P.S. – Go check out Ferrel’s book on guild leadership! Way to go, man!
What be this “success” we’ve heard so much about? Be it fun, sales, lasting memories or the sheer fact that a game made it to launch in an industry that chokes its young to death on a regular basis? One thing is for certain: You are successful just for reading Bio Break. Lesser mortals have tried and fallen dead on the spot from the exposure.
Welcome back to /AFK, my weekly roundup of interesting blog posts and pertinent quotes:
- Levelcapped — Merry Riftmas!
“Trion has really gone above and beyond what we normally see from developers, and the game itself has some major selling points as well that allow it to stand out from the steady stream of ho-hum that we’ve had to endure in the MMO space over the past few years.”
- Overly Positive — The silly setup of failure
“They make forum threads predicting doom and gloom, blog about how the next best thing isn’t quite as good as sliced bread, and are always quick to insert an oppositional, Eeyore-like shrug into conversations that excitedly talk about what’s coming up.”
- Stylish Corpse — Sucker for a happy ending
“What only other introverts seem to understand, however, is that this doesn’t make me unsociable or anti-social — quite the contrary. I’m extremely sociable, it’s just that my terms for it aren’t the same as those of your average extrovert.”
Long lines coupled with a naturally impatient society equals tempers, raging forum posts and amusement for the rest of us. Sure, I hate long queues too, but it’s not as if I’m lacking other things to do or play, so I keep a sense of humor about it and dutifully wait until it’s my time to shine.
Welcome back to /AFK, the weekly roundup of interesting blog posts that caught my eye:
- Overly Positive — Bardic coolness
“I’m totally convinced that the Bard-like classes in an MMO, that base attacks and magic around playing music, are the middle child of MMO class-dom.”
- Rift Watchers — It ’twas the night before launch
“It’s the night before and here I am,up late, twiddling my thumbs, and wishing the minutes into hours so that 1 PM will get here a little bit quicker. I might seem silly. After all, it’s just a game. And one I’ve already played at that.”
- Blacksen’s End — Where did Blizzard lose it?
“Over the past month, something historic is occurring within the player base of World of Warcraft. For the first time, tens of thousands of players are quitting without leaving for another MMO.”
P.S. — He called it, folks!
The big topic this past week was the opening of a new EverQuest time-locked progression server. Both old and new EQ players flocked to and overloaded the servers, looking to recapture lost experiences or experience lost history. While I personally didn’t feel compelled to give this a swing, it’s an interesting experiment that I wish more MMOs would try.
Welcome back to /AFK, a roundup of the most interesting blog posts that caught my eye last week:
- A Casual Stroll to Mordor — Symbols and tokens and marks, oh my!
“You loot the chest expecting to find some powerful artifact, instead some weird currency drops which you take back to town and trade in for the armor they should have given you when they asked you to go fight the bad guys. It makes no sense for the story.”
- ETCmmo — You can never go back
“Getting oh so very lost in Neriak, I wanted to cry…. It was truly terrifying and awesome at the same time. I had never played anything like it.”
- Kill Ten Rats — Faction cool factor
“It seemed that everybody was excited about the Defiant, and ‘mature’ guilds were considering rolling Guardian side just to get away from that immature crowd.”
- MMO Gamer Chick — Rift: Artifact finding
“Which is why I’m surprised after all these weeks in the Rift beta I haven’t talked about the Artifact Collections system yet. Bottom line, I want to marry it.”
- MMO Reporter — Why MMOs are missing the boat
“Most importantly, I want my virtual trek to have consequences. It should require effort to travel. If I go to point B, I must take into account I can’t quickly jump back to A. Why else have a big virtual world?”
Back in college, my friends and I went through a Tabasco sauce craze. Each of us carried around little trademark bottles of that spicy delight to all of our meals, liberally dousing the flavor right out of whatever we were eating and replacing it with hotness. Eggs, pizza, casserole — nothing was safe from the Tabasco invasion. Why am I sharing this? Because my stomach is celebrating the fact I’m past this phase, even though the scars endure.
Welcome to another /AFK, my weekly roundup of interesting and well-written blog posts:
- The Once and Future Geek — Titan Conjecture
“With MMO fans frothing at the mouth for details on Blizzard’s mystery MMO –codenamed Titan- any and all official information is going to be hyper analyzed, and premature predictions will abound.”
Two and a half weeks left, and RIFT players will finally be able to colonize Telara for good. This isn’t a lot of time to get one’s affairs in order — families need to be abandoned, jobs quit, pets sold the circus, catheters set up, etc. Hopefully, we’ll get it all done.
Or, y’know, we’ll just treat it like a normal game when it gets here.
Welcome back to /AFK, my weekly list of the the most interesting or well-written blog posts I’ve read:
- The Common Sense Gamer — Looking at Rift
“The Rift System: You’ve read about this all over the place and by now, so you know generally what this is…in theory. In practice this mechanic MAKES the community work together.”
- Ardwulf’s Lair — Vanguard Abides
“It seems to me that if the population is that small, the game’s bottom line might be improved by an order of magnitude – or more – just by making it free-to-play, and relying on a significantly higher population using the existing cash shop.”
Are you a man? A woman? Or are you a number? A predefined class? Whoooo are you, who who who who? When people encounter you in game, do they see the person behind the avatar, or just a jarhead filling a rigid role?
Enough existential questioning for the morning — welcome back to /AFK, the weekly roundup of the best and most interesting posts I read this past week:
- Elder Game — More on Classed vs. Unclassed Games
“Imagine an MMO that made you redo everything every year. It’d be called ‘A Tale in the Desert’ and it might have a cult following, but would not be able to find the audience you probably imagine it would.”
- KIASA — True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic
“Take her back to Ered Luin where she first began her journey, however, and she can hit a wolf so hard that there’s a very good chance a Higgs boson particle would be detected in the subsequent imploding bloody-mist of lupine limbs.”
- Overly Positive — The Comfortable, Familiar MMO
“To be perfectly honest, the good thing that an MMO with familiarity has for people that play it is simple comfort – the kind of comfort you get from a bath or shower at the right temperature, a familiar spot on the couch/recliner, or worn clothes that fit well.”
- TOROCAST.com — When customization is bad
“Well, just like I can love gin & tonics but decidedly not love waking up mid-puke in a random parking lot in Milwaukee, too much customization has its drawbacks.”
Forumophobia: The mortal fear of going to — or posting on — an internet gaming forum due to the abundance of know-it-alls, trolls, malcontents, leet-speakers and 95% trash post rate. How can we combat this people? With lollipops, of course. With LOLlipops.
Once again I bring you /AFK, my personal pick of the best or most interesting posts from this past week:
- Ardwulf’s Lair — How LotRO Works
“This is a world I know and am at home in, in a way that Norrath and Azeroth – and even Telon, which otherwise came closest – never were.”
- Screaming Monkeys — The Cataclysmic WoW Disease
“The game is suffering from a strange disease and we don’t know what it is. We see the victims, friends, family, bloggers, guild members who are quitting WoW after only a month and a half of Cataclysm.”
- Levelcapped — Naivete
“Winzen should have released this mod to the community, as is intended to be done with mods, and garnered the accolades of an appreciative Internet. Instead, Winzen aimed higher. Much too high.”
- Werit — Where is Mythic?
“What surprises me (and bothers me) is that Mythic has to know what kind of impression this lack of communication gives to the playerbase (well, the website/blog going part). Yet they don’t really do much about it.”
- Elder Game — Classes vs. Open Skill Systems
“But if you accept this premise, you need to know what you’re doing here: you’re intentionally creating an illusion of complexity that will wear off in six months, tops. If it takes you twelve months to make it, you’re betting a LOT of resources on that illusion.”