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Archive for March, 2013

Blogger without an MMO

Change is in the air, there’s no denying it now. So I’m pretty sure by now everyone has noticed how this blog has gotten a lot quieter lately. There’s a lot of reasons for that including winter doldrums and a generally busy last few weeks but in the end I simply feel that my main reason for blogging, which was to talk about what MMO I’m currently enjoying has mostly dried up for the simple reason I’m not really enjoying an MMO at the moment.

I’m still trying to figure out how that situation came to be and I hate to be anti-climatic but it feels to me like I’ve reached the end of what the current crop of MMOs can offer. I’m not saying all MMOs are the same but the core mechanics have been more or less the same for the past few years and it has gotten to a point, at least for me, where I’m not seeing orcs, dragons and jedis but only mechanics and game systems. Even somewhat unique MMOs like TSW seems to be only able to grab my attention for a few hours and even then, only if I get to play with someone.

Which right there is a strange paradox, if I enjoy playing MMOs with people I should be seeking them out but going through the process of finding new guilds, investing time and so on seems rather pointless to me at the moment, I’d rather be spending my time doing something else.

All of this to lead me to why this blog became so quiet. Without an active interest in MMOs, my main drive to blog is mostly gone and I feel like I need to find new material. On the other hand, my interest could just kick up at any moment and suddenly I’ll want to blog tons here and I like having a space on the interweb to vent when I need to. Also, I reinstalled Lotro during the weekend so maybe that will get me going again.

So what does this means for the future here. First, I’m not quitting blogging… but it might get quieter here for a while. If does drag on for too long then I’ll see about the pertinence of keeping this place up. Second, I’m playing a lot of Starcraft 2 since the beginning of the year and I’m starting to think it might be fun to blog about my struggles and noobness. I might be doing that here or on a new blog to keep things clean… not sure yet, but I’d like to have your opinion on this.

So here you have it. Sorry for the downer post but I felt like I had to explain the situation. Wish you all the best.

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Oh… EA…

If you’re one to follow gaming news, you probably know by now that the new Simcity game is suffering from a few problems. I recommend you check out this article from Rock Paper Shotgun and follow the links to get the full picture. If you’d rather have the short version, the game doesn’t have the same depth as the others, there’s queues up to 3 hours to play what really should be a single player game and there’s pay-to-win cash shop items. And look! Removing features to make the game playable!

Why is this happening? It’s real simple. EA is more interested in figuring out how to monetize their games than in actually making the game. They realize they have to give a game to get you to spend money in the first place but really it’s all a savant calculation about how best to maximise the cash intake. People love to draw parallels between the game industry and Hollywood’s film industry and it does fit well here. Studios have figured out some time ago the formula to make quick, easy, profitable movies and every summer we get a few of those movies. Lots of explosions, a bit of sex and they get our 15 dollars. By the way, the “sexy” scene is found at exactly half the movie run time and there’s something big happening from 10:00 to 15:00 so you forget to get a refund before the 15 minutes mark.

So continuing with the Hollywood comparison, there’s also a limit on how bad a big budget movie can be. The film industry history is littered with the corpse of companies that got too greedy and made one too many awful blockbuster movie. It’s a lesson I hope happens to EA. I hate to say this because there are people careers in play here but seriously… what is happening right now with Simcity is outright customer robbery and this needs to be punished. We need to show EA, and the rest of the game industry, that’s there’s a limit to how greedy they can get. That we do expect a working game at some point and that playing a game shouldn’t be about spending money all the time.

So yeah I’m ranting. But I can’t believe I’m the only one who’s outraged by how EA is conducting business at this moment.

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All is quiet on the MMO front lately. I’m barely playing WoW at the moment and most of my MMO time (which is not a lot) is reserved for The Secret World. Still love the game but I’m taking my time since I don’t want to run out of content too soon.

Most of my gaming time at this moment is directed at making a dent in my single player game backlog and keeping my schedule clear for Heart of the Swam releasing soon (5 days!). ┬áSo here’s what I’ve been up to lately.

  • Dark Souls: Finished it yesterday just in time to begin Castlevania: Lords of Shadow-Miror of Fate (long name FTW). Once all is said and done, I clocked around 70 hours over three characters. I found Dark Souls to be more difficult than Demon Souls but also better done. Highly recommend it if you want to challenge yourself for real.
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow-Miror of Fate: I’m a fan of Castlevania… a fanboi even. I nearly have all the games including a few rare ones so a new entry in the series meant an automatic buy. So far it’s been a fun experience despite some reviewers complaints.
  • Xenoblade: I was in the mood for an Jrpg and this one came recommended. I have no idea how far in I am at this point but it’s been an enjoyable trip down memory lane.

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