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.”
Disappointments: They flood our lives from unexpected angles, washing us down the river banks of misery and out into the sea of shame. And yet we cling to hope, hold to high expectations and trust that this leap… this leap will be the leap home.
Welcome back to /AFK, the weekly roundup of the best blog posts from the last seven days!
- West Karana — The MMO Challenge, Revisited
“Now, I’m passing on this challenge to my reader(s?). Pick one of the new MMOs coming out this year, or any MMO you have not yet played but think you would enjoy, and just make that your main MMO for an entire year.”
- Combat Archaeology — Going Home
“It has been exactly a year since I started this blog — a rather auspicious day, all things said. I think it’s also a good day to close up shop.”
Was there ever anyone more manly than Evil Dead’s Ash? It takes a special type of person — a lethal combination of bravery and idiocy — to taunt darkness itself: “Come get some!”
It’s once again time for /AFK — the best posts (and quotes) from the past week in the field of MMOs:
- MMOSH — Have Mount, Will Travel (Part 2)
“Whatever the true state of affairs is, it does not change the fact that I was completely blind-sided by this change, and it made me cry real human tears. Only on the inside though, as I am a man, and real men are only supposed to cry on the inside.”
- KIASA — Stormwind Shell Shock
“KiaSA lawyers are ready to speak to any TV executives interested in the rights to this new reality TV show, working title: Amishion Impossible.”
- Broken Toys — 2011: WoW, Not WoW
“But all the same, I hope The Old Republic is a massive hit, with millions of subscribers, enough to make back its development costs and then some.”
It’s January 2nd, which means that 80% of you have already broken at least one New Year’s resolution and are now contemplating a jump into a shark pit of shame. For the 20% of us who are still awesome, we will look at your shredded remains and toast our steadfast devotion to these sacred resolutions.
/AFK means that these Are Freakin’ Kool posts from the past week:
- The RIFT — On RIFT: Reservations, Concerns, Expectations and Longevity
“This, and this alone is what reinforced my belief that Trion is sticking to its word, and working their butts off to produce a game that launches with the future in mind. This is what I expect from them, and if – for some odd reason – they don’t fulfill their end of this… I will be the first to admit it.”
- MMO Gamer Chick — Torn by Rift: Beta Impressions
“Let’s just put it this way. Rift personified is a refined gentleman, cuts a great figure and has all the right moves, but hang out with him long enough and you’ll find he’s just your regular Joe who likes his joe regular.”
- Kill Ten Rats — Looting
“We already accept inventory mechanics in which 100 metal ingots take up as much space as a ring, bears sometimes carry swords and multiple hides but have only a 50% chance to have one leg or tooth on each corpse, gold bars are worth less than gold coins, and gold coins take up no space.”
It’s been a nutty weekend for the Syp family, what with traveling and Christmas and two very small kids who were way too overstimulated by the affair. But now we’re home, and I’m richer by two Star Wars LEGO sets, a Blu-Ray of The Pacific and a zombie origami calendar.
Welcome the return of /AFK, where we take a look at some of the best posts of the previous week!
- KIASA – Quick Guide to Festival Raids
“Stage three begins with all those players who have a Lord Jesus copy close-by receiving the Tender Care debuff, at which point those players are instantly killed as they are taken up to heaven to live with Lord Jesus.”
- Stylish Corpse – Send It To Me
“In LOTRO, mailing a packet of tissues is going to cost you half a year’s looting pay, mailing armour is going to give you sticker shock, and you can only mail one item at a time.”
- Kill Ten Rats — Why don’t you want me to play?
“At the bottom of the form, Just above the submit button, there’s a little bit of text that evaluates how well you’ve filled in the form. It read ‘Very Poor’. I could almost hear the tut and see the look of disapproval.”
- West Karana — DDO: The Wight at the End of the Tunnel
“It’s as if Turbine’s quest scripters had come off a weekend binge that included a half dozen Japanese horror movies, stumbled into work on a Monday with their brain cells still crackling, and wrote what they saw when they closed their eyes.”
- MmoQuests.com — Saying My Goodbyes to EQ2
“As a long time veteran player of the game I am absolutely disgusted by the changes that have taken place, and it is very obvious that the game is no longer for me.”
Does the devil need our sympathy at this point? What with the whole “trying to drag our souls down to hell to burn” thing, you’d think that would be a major obstacle for his PR department to overcome. QQ more, prince of darkness!
Your after-dinner mint post: A Riddle
How low can you go? Seriously, don’t challenge the internet to find out. They always, always find a way to go lower. But for those of us not doing the limbo or in limbo, here are six posts that caught my eye this week previous:
- Ark’s Ark stands up for the thousands of silenced, displaced EU DDO players
- Game by Night sticks up for Final Fantasy XIV
- Battle Priestess comes up with great ways to advertise your guild
- Player Versus Developer thinks Rift is going to skew more toward WoW than EverQuest
- ETCmmo.com just isn’t feeling the Cataclysm love
- I HAS PC has Vindictus as well, and brings us an analysis of the beta