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Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

A Quick Note on Casualism

I suppose everyone’s definition of what consists of a hardcore player and a casual player differs greatly from each other.

Some say “I’m casual” yet they show up to raids on time, repaired, consumables ready to go.

Miss Arioch says the following:

I don’t consider myself hardcore.

I am a casual that takes raiding seriously.

If you have any emotional investment in something, if you take anything about a game seriously, if you care at all about what happens in the game, you don’t get to call yourself casual anymore.

Take Peggle. If you are casual, maybe you’ll boot it up sometimes, shoot the ball around, bask in the glory of the shiny splosions. But as soon as you start thinking about how to get higher scores, as soon as you restart to try and clear the board, as soon as you look at the pegs and say “hmm… how can I best utilize my special power?” you are no longer casual.

A casual is someone who does not take the game seriously. Every single person reading this blog is not a casual, at least by my simplified definition. (more…)

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Passive Aggressive

BBB asks “what… behaviour… pisses you off the most?”

I thought, at first, my answer might be something like “the guy that doesn’t even try to learn their class” or “the dude who chronically forgets to repair”.

But what I truly hate, what I truly despise, what truly revolts me, is passive-aggressive behaviour.

It’s similar to saying “uh” or “uhm” or chronically throwing the word “like” into places where the word most certainly doesn’t belong. I didn’t used to mind; hell, three years ago words like “uh” were an important part of my vocabulary.

But now? I hate it. I hate it so much. I try very, very hard to avoid ever using a word which functions as little more than a filler to allow my brain to catch up with my mouth. So far, I have managed to excise “uhm” completely from my speech, though the odd “uh” slips through sometimes.

The word “like” in the “like, totally” definition has been the hardest to get rid of. It’s a quick, easy replacement for words such as “as in”, “for example”, or… “such as”. I still say it in that context every now and then, and oh how do I loathe that word. I physically injure myself every time I say it.

Likewise, I didn’t have a problem with passive aggressive behaviours and ways of dealing with people three or four years ago. But now? Nothing can get me into a spittle inducing rage faster. (more…)

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Why We QQ, Part Three

This was touched upon briefly in comments, but this has to do with a difference in ideals.

Basically, it’s a disconnect that occurs between players and developers where the two groups have different visions of the game in question. My recent despair at the death of things like defense rating and armor penetration is exemplary of this.

I have my own notions, my own ideas, for WoW and where WoW should go. Some of this I share with the developers, some I don’t.

For instance, I fully agree that every mage tree should be perfectly viable for both PvP and PvE, just not simultaneously. Frost, for instance, should be perfectly capable of topping the damage meters, but should also be a kick ass PvP tree. You couldn’t be good at both with the same spec, similar to how a bear specced druid can’t produce nearly as much DPS as a kitty specced druid can.

But there’s a disagreement in the how part. I fully support firmly splitting abilities between PvP and PvE. For instance, the PvP version of Deep Freeze deals no damage and stuns/freezes the target for 5 seconds, while the PvE version of Deep Freeze deals about 8k damage and afflicts the target with a debuff that allows the frost mage to treat them as frozen for 5 seconds. (more…)

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Why We QQ, Part Two

Yesterday’s post was actually written nearly two months ago, mostly because I was nearly sure that it wasn’t the whole story.

So here’s part 2, which some of you basically already guessed in it’s entirety.

Firstly, the difference between loving something and liking something is huge. They aren’t the same thing. You can love something you don’t like, you can like something you don’t love.

I like my mouse. It’s a good, capable mouse, with thumb buttons and a very nice scroll wheel with multiple settings. But I’m not emotionally attached to it any way. If a better mouse comes along, or this one breaks, there will be no tears shed, no sadness. There will simply be me playing WoW with a new mouse, the old mouse utterly forgotten.

I love my best friend. He’s a good, capable friend, with opposable thumbs and the ability to hold a conversation with multiple settings. I am emotionally attached to him. If he were to die, to lose his home, his girlfriend, his parents, I would care deeply and react very strongly. If he were to, say, contract cancer and be given two months to live, I would immediately drop everything and spend those two months with him.

Certainly, I like my best friend, but I don’t just like him.

Picture someone you care very deeply about. Now picture them drunk off their ass and throwing up. At this point, you don’t like them. Nobody likes someone who just threw up on you. But because you care for them, because you love them, you are going to help them. Maybe drag them to the washroom and stick their head in the toilet, maybe hold their hair so they don’t get puke in it.

Sure, you’ll give them bloody hell in the morning, but the fact remains that when they were at their worst, you stuck by them. If you merely liked them, you would not have rendered nearly the same level of aid, if any. Maybe drag them to the washroom and leave them there, but more out of concern for your carpet than any concern for their well-being.

The same holds true for every facet of your life. Consider the man who spends years tweaking and modifying his car. Picture Eastwood’s character from Gran Torino. There is a lot of emotion invested into the vehicle, so selling it, or even letting someone else drive it, is a big deal.

Compare that to the guy who just buys a new car, for the sole purpose of having a way to get from point A to point B. In the first example, if that car gets smashed up, the man in question will be upset, heartbroken. In the latter, the man will still be upset, but not out of any concern for the car, just out of being inconvenienced so severely.

And so it is with games, so it is with WoW.

If you merely like a game, with no real emotional attachment to it, you quit when you no longer like it. “That was fun”, you say, and you wash your hands of it and move on.

If you merely like a game, you are invested in it in the sense that you (maybe) paid some money for it, spent some time installing it, spent some time playing it. If a patch comes to the game that ruins what you considered fun, you’ll leave. Why continue playing something you don’t like, when the only reason you originally played it was because you liked it?

I play, and have played, many games I merely like. I like Team Fortress 2. It’s fun, I play it sometimes, but I don’t get riled up about patches or updates.

But WoW… WoW is different. I love WoW. I’ve created this mage character, and fought through thick and thin with it. I’ve had good and bad experiences, had hundreds of totally awesome moments and totally embarrassing moments. I’ve clocked over two thousand hours into my main character.

My attachment to WoW goes a little bit farther than merely liking the game. Sure, there are times when I don’t like the game, but deep down, I still love it. There will be times yet in the future where I become frustrated with some part of the game, where I say “Yeah this is the last straw, I’m out of here”, but deep down… I don’t mean it.

Some day, WoW’s going to come home drunk of its ass, and I’ll ask “and just where have you been?” I’ll cross my arms and put on my sternest look.

WoW will try and come up with an answer for me. “It’sh sherver mantenansh night, cha know? I had… I had… to be…”

And then WoW will vomit all over those slippers he got me for our third anniversary. And I’ll feel the rage swell within me. I’ll feel betrayed, neglected… but I still love the guy.

Of course, in the morning, I’ll give him hell.

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Why We QQ

Ahh, QQ. A staple of the WoW community, the foundation of this blog, and something every one of us likes to delve in from time to time.

Sure, there are some who QQ because they legitimately hate the game but don’t quit for some reason and go do something that’s actually fun (my theory is that they enjoy being miserable), but most of us genuinely love the game.

We only QQ when a change that we don’t like, or otherwise don’t agree with, is applied to the game.

Or, more specifically, our ideal of the game.

As a company, Blizzard has always held itself to the standard of utter perfection. They are not a company willing to go forward with “good enough”, anything less than “best game in the history of everything” just isn’t good enough for them.

I hear you scoff. I hear you already typing in your counter-argument. That’s some impressive multi-tasking there, by the way.

Stop typing for a second, and let’s look at the facts here.

Starcraft was hugely successful. Sporting three completely unique and balanced races (a feat thought impossible), brilliant story-telling and ridiculously well crafted characters. I can’t be the only one who got all misty-eyed when Fenix died, to say nothing of the perpetual stiffie I have for Kerrigan. Baby, I’d let you infest me any day.

It was a very good game, but not perfect. Yes, it was very balanced, but not perfectly so. Comparing the up-to-date PC version with the N64 version reveals the differences rather starkly. To be brief, Zerg are so horrifically overpowered on the N64 it’s not even funny (4 pool I win durr hurrrrr).

But “very good” wasn’t good enough. So patch 1.08 (this is the humassive patch that basically fixed every single balance issue) was released, and was Blizzard’s way of saying “we want this game to be the best ever”. I mean, there were still patches coming out in 2005. That’s dedication.

Who keeps releasing patches to their game a decade after it first game out? And no “well, it’s still such a popular game” is not good comeback, that just reinforces my point.

Consider the games Blizzard didn’t release, Starcraft: Ghost and Warcraft Adventures.

Those two games are guaranteed best sellers. Even if they were merely average, they would easily earn millions, with at least a million copies of each game selling on release day.

Both games are, amazingly, essentially finished. Somewhere at Blizzard, the effectively completed games sit somewhere in a vault, abandoned for merely being “good”.

Ghost ended up being put on hold indefinitely, though there are still plans to maybe get it out someday. Warcraft Adventures, by comparison, is dead and gone.

Diablo, yes, the original Diablo, still makes it into top 20 best seller lists, to say nothing of the immense popularity the Warcraft games enjoy. WoW, of course, possesses over 11 million active subscribers, and likely tens of millions of people who used to play.

The trick is, Blizzard doesn’t actually have a higher rate of success than other game studios. Instead, what Blizzard does is axe the games that won’t meet their standards of utter perfection.

To quote Rob Pardo:

we’ve cancelled a lot of projects… We’re just willing to cancel the products that fail. That’s important to our brand. We’re willing to bite the bullet and write off those expenses.

Such a philosophy is not an easy one to hold.

The biggest problem, of course, is that us, the player base, begin to share that philosophy.

Blizzard says “nothing short of perfect is good enough”, and we hold them to that.

Blizzard wants the perfect game, so we point out every single thing wrong with them.

The source of QQ is not our anger, not our rage or frustration, but from Blizzards own ideals.

They hold themselves to a standard of perfection, and we do too. Thus, whenever anything less than perfection is attained, we feel cheated somehow. We were promised something, and received something less.

You need look no further than patch 3.1s promise to revitalize fire PvP, and the outrage and frustration that followed when that promise wasn’t fulfilled.

We wouldn’t complain nearly as much if Blizzard went with “good enough”, or even “meh”.

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Orphaned Posts

One of the dangers of being a “member” of such a large “community” of bloggers is that one runs the very real risk of posting content someone else already did.

In fact, over the course of this blog, no less than 45 (!) posts have never seen the light of feedreader due to near identical posts appearing elsewhere in the blogosphere, or other factors that render the post utterly retarded or irrelevant to the current situation.

For instance, I had a post all about the instance launch issues people have been having, and even offered a solution. Then BBB posted a post that was almost exactly like mine (except longer) and even offered the exact same solution for the exact same reason.

So my post got the axe. Swissssh thunk.

Two others got the axe this week so far, one was a fanfic about a Death Knight that was nearly exactly the same as a story already posted days ago, and the other was a short little ditty about an idea I had to improve arcane.

What was my idea?

Well, I’ll give you the jist of it. (more…)

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Months Behind

When one is months behind, it means they’re doing something like clearing Black Temple four weeks after Wrath shipped, or finally clearing Naxxramas once most guilds have cleared out all the Ulduar hard mode content.

Such is the case with me, having just now started to raid Ulduar, on the very cusp of patch 3.2.

And it’s fun as hell.

A quick rundown of past events (for those of you who don’t stalk me):

Stay Frosty, as a guild, kinda fell apart over the course of about a day. No blow up, no massive drama, just about 90% of the raiders deciding it would be more fun to join Shai Hulud, Duskwood’s premiere raiding guild.

Those that didn’t /gquit for Shai either left for other guilds, or quit the game altogether. Nearly overnight, one of Duskwood’s top raiding guilds became a complete ghost town.

This means that every guild I have ever joined has collapsed within nine months of me signing on.

Not that I’m superstitious or anything, but seriously… what the carp is going on here.

But anyway, I’m now sporting the banner of For Whom The Bell Tolls, which is basically the people from Anathema, Anathema being the guild I raided with in BC.

Hopefully I don’t kill their guild somehow this time. Though two people have quit since I joined, which was last goddamn week…

Ulduar, then. (more…)

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