Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling reports from the front lines* of the Massively Multiplayer Multiverse.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Whence a Gamer?

Expecting everything to be custom tailored for you is the surest way to end up angry in the end. It is like walking into a store and complaining that a red shirt isn't blue enough for you. If you don't want to wear a red shirt, don't buy a red shirt and then expect it to change into the color you want it to be.
~Belghast, Change is Scary
Apparently, there was much discussion yesterday on Twitter about trying to define the term "Gamer" and specifically, who gets to claim the term. Belghast would like to include folks playing Bejeweled on their phone while they wait for the bus, while others are far more exclusionary. Roger Edwards questions the need for labels at all. I think there is some value in labels, but that labeling everyone who happens to play Minesweeper a gamer diffuses the term so as to make it meaningless. I am not a mini-golfer just because I go to Putt-Putt once in a blue moon.

Let's put it it this way:
  • If you consider the games you play to be a hobby, you might be a gamer.
  • If you set aside time to play a game on a  regular basis, you might be a gamer.
  • If you spend time thinking about a game while not actually playing, you might be a gamer.
  • If you've ever bored or annoyed someone because you're talking about a game you've played, you might be a gamer.
  • If you do research to improve your performance in the game you are playing, you might be a gamer.
  • If someone who is definitely not a gamer would comment on your gaming when describing you, you might be a gamer.
  • If you write about gaming, you might be a gamer.
  • If you argue on social media about who gets to be called a gamer, you're probably a gamer.
  • If you think you are somehow more a "Gamer" than someone else because you play on certain platforms or difficulty levels or are more "hardcore" or are more skilled or more committed—or whatever—shut the fuck up.
If you're interested in joining the circadian sun showers of Blaugust, breeze on over to Belghast's Blaugust Initiative Page on Anook and let him know you're there. It may even mean a small windfall for you, as Belghast has prizes prepared for high achievers.
~~~
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. If you are reading this post through RSS or Atom feed—especially more than a couple hours after publication—I encourage you to visit the actual page, as I often make refinements after the fact. The mobile version also loses some of the original character of the piece due to simplified formatting.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Blaugust Has Ruined My Routines

So here I am, yet again, at bedtime, trying to think of something interesting to write about. Unlike other days, it's not pastmy bedtime with me laying in bed posting on my phone. This is a quiet time for me. I often have the time to jot stuff down at work, due to the nature of my job. But things are busier around the office than in the past. Or perhaps it's that when I am not posting every day, those brief opportunities only seem to come up more often.

Anyway, Rades over at Orcish Army Knife had some interesting insights into the behavior of Garrosh Hellscream in the Warlords of Draenor cinematic trailer released the other day. I encourage you to read it, but suffice it to say that the Garrosh we see in this trailer is a far wiser Orc than the one defeated at the end of the Siege of Orgrimmar. I don't know enough about the backstory surrounding his appearance here versus what we consider the normal timeline, but I would be interested to find out. For all I know, the information is out there, I just haven't heard about it because I am not really involved in WoW any more.

There are quite a few folks excited for WoD to drop. Others have said the trailer left them "meh." It certainly didn't get them excited for the new expansion. At least, not more excited than they may already have been. While I found the cinematic interesting, it made me more interested in the fabled Warcraft movie they keep telling us happening, more than it drew me back into WoW itself.

As Shintar asked, "Why should I be invested in this as a player?" I've mentioned this before, I think that as the World of Warcraft cinematics moved away from showing essentially player characters and classes to showing Epic Lore NPCs like Illidan and Arthas, so too the expansions themselves focused more on the "big story" and left players as sidekicks in their own stories. And the game is poorer for it.

GIVE IN TO THE MADNESS!! GO NOW TO THE BLAUGUST INITIATIVE PAGE ON ANOOK! POST YOUR BLOGS! THE AGGRONAUT HAS SPOKEN!!
~~~
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. If you are reading this post through RSS or Atom feed—especially more than a couple hours after publication—I encourage you to visit the actual page, as I often make refinements after the fact. The mobile version also loses some of the original character of the piece due to simplified formatting.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Afternoon on Nexus

So Scooter and I were discussing our our characters, Rowan Blaze and Sabrine, a medic and spellslinger, respectively, and how they'd grown a bit stale, even though we'd only reached maybe level 17 with them. I am enjoying my spellslinger, Lyra, but then again it's only been a few days since I created her. I'd been wondering how a warrior would play in WildStar, and Scooter wanted an Aurin. I decided on a Granok, and Scooter went with the stalker class. Thus were Flint Buckthorn and Lave (LAH-veh) created. It's hard to get them both in frame, honestly.
In about five hours worth of play, including character creation, we got to level 10. And we're really enjoying the melee classes. I kinda wish one or the other had some healing, but we're doing just fine, I think. I am speccing into Tank; while Scooter is going DPS, as is her wont.

Since we'd gone through Everstar Grove and Celestion with our Human characters, we decided to brave the Northern Wilds and Algoroc. This is my second time on this storyline, and I gotta say that I really enjoy it a lot more than the Aurin/Mordesh one. There's something about the Old West feel of Algoroc that really appeals to me. Perhaps it's the feeling of a land to be tamed, rather than a forest to be preserved.
It might be a bit late to start in on Blaugust, but it's never too late get support and encouragement. If you're interested in joining the fun, double-jump over to Belghast's Blaugust Initiative Page on Anook and let him know you're there. It may even mean a small windfall for you, as Belghast has prizes prepared for high achievers.
~~~
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. If you are reading this post through RSS or Atom feed—especially more than a couple hours after publication—I encourage you to visit the actual page, as I often make refinements after the fact. The mobile version also loses some of the original character of the piece due to simplified formatting.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Lazy Saturday

This is one of those days that I am basically looking at a blank screen and wondering what I am going to write. I didn't really do much today. Spent some time early in the morning doing some fence repair, then took some Benadryl to combat the itchy mosquito bites I'd received. This had the side effect of making me drowsier than expected, and I ended up sleeping the morning away.
In the afternoon, Scooter and I watched the recent movie "Noah" starring Russell Crowe. A friend had lent it to me. Strange movie, honestly. The cover tries to play up the action, but it is far more a character piece, in my opinion. It draws some of its story from Apocryphal books in addition to the account found in Genesis. Even accounting for that, the filmmakers took a lot of liberties with the plot. I also re-watched part of "Cloud Atlas."

I played some WildStar while Scooter ran some errands with her daughter. I really like my new solo toon, Lyra, but she's a bit squishy.
We ended up watching a mini-marathon of "Arrow" this evening. I actually kinda like this show. At first Oliver Queen seemed like a cheap imitation Bruce Wayne. But there's a great deal of intrigue and a web of lies that surrounds him. Bruce's enemies were always "other." Oliver's may be right in his own home.

If you're interested in joining the torrential downpour of blog posts, sail on over to Belghast's Blaugust Initiative Page on Anook and let him know you're there. It may even mean a small windfall for you, as Belghast will reward the faithful.
~~~
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. If you are reading this post through RSS or Atom feed—especially more than a couple hours after publication—I encourage you to visit the actual page, as I often make refinements after the fact. The mobile version also loses some of the original character of the piece due to simplified formatting.

Friday, August 15, 2014

10 Years 10 Questions

I heard about the Godmother of Faff's 10 Ten Years, 10 Questions survey a few days ago, but haven't sat down to actually answer them until now. I believe Godmother intends to use the responses to put together an Alternative Chat show very close to the anniversary of WoW. But several other bloggers have posted their answers now, and I shall follow suit.

Why did you start playing World of Warcraft?
I had a friend who played religiously, and he spent a lot of time talking about it. I wasn't really interested until he came over one day and insisted that I install it (using his disks and a friend-key). I had subscribed by the end the week.

What was the first ever character you rolled?
My first character was a Dwarf Hunter named Oakheart. I believe I got him into the 40s, but not before he'd become one of several characters I roled ("rolling" is something munchkins do with dice. I play characters) as I found classes and quest lines I preferred to play.

Which factors determined your faction choice in game?
Initially, I played Alliance because my friend's main character was a gnome. I eventually created at least one of every race and class, and both factions. I continued to receive more social support on the Alliance side after he started playing different hours due to a job change. That's not to say Horde players are unfriendly, but I never put down any real roots on that side.

What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?
I'm not really sure. The first time my namesake, Rowanblaze, the priest felt truly powerful? Stepping through the Dark Portal for the first time—several months after the Burning Crusade was released? My first flying mount? Achieving "A Long Strange Trip" and getting my violet proto-drake? Really, there are a lot of memories when I stop to think. Many moments—like "smokin' and jokin'" during raids—run together.

What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?
I've always loved questing and leveling. A major reason for my altoholism stems from the rested XP bonus and the fact that I wanted to play, but wanted to keep that bonus. So I would rest my stable of characters. The practice of switching from one character to another each session allowed me to go through a wide variety of different zones and quest stories, and I rarely got bored in those first few years. I was always a little miffed that "Lore Master" was not an account-wide achievement.

Do you have an area in game that you always return to?
Stolen from MMOGC
This doesn't really apply to me, since I haven't really played for a few years. In trying to think of my favorite places, I came up with a laundry list of zones. I tend to favor naturalistic forests and grasslands. Grizzly Hills, Nagrand, Elwynn Forest, Mulgore, Eversong Woods. I also like spooky areas, especially those dominated by the Forsaken.

How long have you /played and has that been continuous?
I am honestly not sure how much total /played time I have between all my characters. I played almost daily, it seemed, from late June of 2006, until January of 2009, when my account was hacked. I played semi-regularly after that, interspersed with new MMOs, until finally fully unsubscribing from WoW in the fall of 2011.

Admit it: do you read quest text or not?
I almost always read the quest test in WoW. It did not occur to me to do otherwise.

Are there any regrets from your time in game?
I don't think there's anything I regret, precisely. I continued playing it past the time I really enjoyed it, out of a sense of loyalty to friends who were still interested.

What effects has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming?
For me, Warcraft was a "Dark Portal" to a broader gaming hobby. I have started blogging and writing fiction, formed friendships, and strengthened my relationship with my bride through WoW and MMORPGs.

We're halfway through Blaugust! It's not too late to join. Breeze on over to Belghast's Blaugust Initiative Page on Anook and let him know you're there. It may even mean a small windfall for you, as Belghast has prizes prepared for high achievers.
~~~
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. If you are reading this post through RSS or Atom feed—especially more than a couple hours after publication—I encourage you to visit the actual page, as I often make refinements after the fact. The mobile version also loses some of the original character of the piece due to simplified formatting.